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Emmys 2017
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Bakersfield, P.D.

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Bakersfield, P.D.

TV Show
Current Status:
In Season
Ron Eldard, Giancarlo Esposito

We gave it a B+

An unexpectedly original charmer, Bakersfield, P.D. is about Paul (Giancarlo Esposito), a Washington, D.C., cop who is transferred to a most eccentric police department in Bakersfield, Calif. Paul is paired with Wade (Ron Eldard), a genial doofus who apparently based his decision to join the force solely on his fondness for TV cop shows like The Mod Squad and Mannix, whose plots he lovingly recounts for his nonplussed new partner. Bakersfield, P.D. is one of the few sitcoms whose jokes and dialogue about race — Paul is black, Wade is white — carry an air of innocence and affection. Wade is no racist, but he asks Paul gauche questions about what it’s like to be black because he’s genuinely curious. Chris Mulkey (Hank Jennings on Twin Peaks) brings his knack for handsome dim-wittedness to the role of an officer who’d rather work the night shift: ”Hey, if I wanted to work 9 to 5, I’d have finished high school.” Combine these characters with an amusing superior officer — Captain Stiles (Jack Hallett), an insecure man who is incapable of making a firm decision — and you’ve got one of the season’s more pleasant surprises. B+