Friday, August 17, 2018

Pilot Review: Carter

Carter (WGN)
Premiered August 7 at 10pm

We’ve never seen a show about someone who either writes about or plays a detective on television and then starts consulting about it in real life, have we? In fact, ABC premiered a series about just the same thing called “Take Two” less than two months ago. Technically, Bravo in Canada beat that one to the bunch with this series, which originally debuted back in May. There’s a reason that so many procedurals continue to exist, because they’re evidently popular with audiences and they do tend to be entertaining. This show was immediately very Canadian in its opening moments, with Harley explaining that he went to Canada after fleeing Hollywood following his red carpet blowout, and of course he’s from a small town where everyone knows each other and where the mayor would offer him a police consulting job. Jerry O’Connell has starred in a number of television series over the years, and at least this one doesn’t ask him to take himself seriously, employing his talents in the best way possible. The only other actor I recognize is Kristian Bruun, who was the much-tormented Donnie on “Orphan Black,” and his fortunes as Dave here don’t seem to be all that much better. Sam’s flirtation with Harley seems a bit too obvious and forward given how different their lives are, but it’s a foregone conclusion that something will happen eventually. For decent fun, this show is fine, but, given its lack of any true originality or creativity, it’s hardly must-watch television.

How will it work as a series? He said he’s not going to take the job, but that doesn’t mean he won’t still tag along on cases out of sheer boredom, and there’s apparently more of a mystery regarding his own life that he’ll have to solve, a process that’s sure not to be conducted too privately or discretely.
How long will it last? The reviews seem to be decent, but it’s the ratings that really matter. The show did so well in Canada that it got a second airing on another network, CTV, and now it’s playing on WGN, which is yet another platform that should be easy enough to attract another audience. I’d expect to see more of this show in the future.

Pilot grade: C+

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