Thursday, February 9, 2017

Pilot Review: APB

Premiered February 6 at 9pm

It’s possible that there are more medical or lawyer shows, but I’d argue that cop shows are the most common on television right now. As a result, seeing pilot after pilot that tries to be cutting-edge with a new take on law enforcement can become very tiring. I’ve stopped getting my hopes up that there will be any originality in any of these new shows, and therefore this one caught me by surprise in a great way. It wasn’t the opening display of recklessness by Justin Kirk’s billionaire engineer Gideon Reed. Kirk’s energy, however, is fantastic, and I’m so happy to see him in a role like this after serving as an MVP for years on “Weeds” and then being relegated to recurring irrelevance on “Tyrant.” The notion of a rich man taking over the police force in part of Chicago might be worrisome to those who are having trouble dealing with the current state of a rich man being in charge of the country, but this is a different story. Gideon’s technology is cool and seems to actually be beneficial, and Natalie Martinez’s Amelia seems to be there to remind him that you need to continue to have the human element to ensure proper thought and execution go into every operation. Ernie Hudson, Kevin Chapman, and Taylor Handley are three actors I never expected to star in a show together, and I think they’ll have much less exciting roles than Kirk and Martinez. The dialogue isn’t all that great, and I still don’t think I’ll watch this show, but this premiere was much better and much more satisfyingly action-packed than I had expected.

How will it work as a series? Clearly the initial display of the capabilities of the ABP app was impressive enough to inspire mass participation by Chicago residents, and Gideon is going to have his hands full going forward, with problems sure to present themselves and more action sure to transpire.
How long will it last? The ratings seem to be pretty good, and premiering with “24: Legacy” was a positive move for FOX. It seems that I liked this show a lot more than most did since it received poorer reviews than FOX’s real-time reboot. I think this show could do well but wouldn’t necessarily recommend it for a second season just yet.

Pilot grade: B