The problem with any cop show is that it will come off as, well, “just another cop show.” Considering that there are now nearly as many Law & Order and CSI series as there are days of the week — and the fact that HBO’s The Wire and FX’s The Shield have set the genre’s bar so high — it seemed that K-Ville‘s best hope at success would be todistinguish itself by mining the drama inherent to a show set in post-Katrina New Orleans. And really, a simple camera sweep across theflood-ravaged city and its helpless (and abandoned) inhabitants — seen in a flashback early on in last night’s premiere — is enough to tug atthe heart strings. But for the most part, I found myself just mildlyentertained by what, unfortunately, did feel like just another cop show, albeitone where the lead characters drop by voodoo shops and grub on shrimp po’ boys and gumbo.
Anthony Anderson (pictured,left) is great. On The Shield, his O.G. Antwon Mitchellsingle-handedly flipped Vic Mackey (MichaelChiklis) on his head with a smug “I ain’t afraid of nobody”bravado. So needless to say, I was excited to see him as the lead in this newshow, and for the most part, he didn’t disappoint in the role of maverick cop MarlinBoulet. And overcoming the clichéd good-cop–bad-cop dynamic, there is some genuine chemistry between the bourbon-slugging Boulet and his new (and briefly mysterious) partner Trevor Cobb, played by co-star Cole Hauser (right). But nothing like the flashes of brilliance in the few scenes in which Boulet was paired with Charlie (Derek Webster), an ex-partner who broke his heart by running off on him when the crap hit the fan following the catastrophic storm.
But the show fell short with its rushed pace. In thefirst 30 minutes alone, we had two shootings, a car chase, a suspecttortured, and Marlin’s daughter’s room flooded by a fire hose. Whatkeeps me on the edge of my seat is action followed by good drama, andthis first episode — which introduced its characters, set upthe myriad sidestories (Marlin fighting for his family, Marlin trying to keep hisbelovedNinth Ward intact, Marlin and his unresolved past with Charlie), andthenpresented and solved the episode’s whodunit — didn’t take time to builddrama.So, for instance, it was a fairly interesting to learn thatit wasthe businessman’s daughter who was killing people as part of anelaboratereal-estate scam, but that revelation would’ve had a much greater impact if wewere more engaged in the story of the city’s efforts to help theKatrina-devastated people. Instead, it was a good twist, but a fleetingone.
Another good twist that played out too quickly was Trevor’sbackstory. We learned that the Cincinnati native escaped from a NewOrleansprison during the storm and, after watching a friend drown, became acopbecause he pledged to do good with the rest of his life if given asecondchance. Why couldn’t they have built that up slower, carry it over afewepisodes, keep us engaged? It would’ve been a great way to get me totune backin next week. Perhaps it was merely a case of their trying to do toomuch in the first episode, but nevertheless, I’m not sure they gaveme enough reason to add yet another copshow to my DVR rotation. What about you, P-Dubbers? Did K-Ville tickleyourfancy or leave you flat? And, of course, make sure to check the magazine for our critic’s official take on the show.