Friday, September 28, 2018

Pilot Review: FBI

Premiered September 25 at 9pm

There are procedurals, and then there are procedurals. I’ve read multiple critiques of the completely uncreative name of this new CBS show, and it turns out that its very standard title is indicative of the nature of its content. This is also an extremely typical super-stacked pilot, one involving multiple bombs in neighborhoods, gangs, white supremacists, and some very high stakes. CBS is known for its procedurals, and it doesn’t come as much of a surprise that they would pick one of the most well-known law enforcement agencies to spotlight. Honestly, this is much more being in the action than any true investigations, and it amazes me that people still need to watch cops trying to be tough and intimidating witnesses into cooperating with supposedly “unique” techniques. I liked Missy Peregrym on “Reaper” and think she was a good fit for her decent run on “Rookie Blue,” but this much gruffer, stiffer role hardly seems right for her. I also think Jeremy Sisto, who I first got to know on “Six Feet Under” and who I knew appeared on the later years of “Law and Order,” is better in more dynamic parts. I’ve never known exactly what to make of Connie Nielsen, who was great in “Gladiator” and on “Boss” and was trying to chew a bit too much scenery here. I like Dallas Roberts but didn’t exactly buy him as an “Americanist,” this show’s attempt to dramatize white supremacism. This show is exactly what I had expected when I sat down to watch it, and in this case, that’s hardly satisfying.

How will it work as a series? Peregrym’s Maggie has her own baggage to deal with thanks to the recent death of her husband, and that may explain part of why she has little patience for anyone that isn’t straight with her. This case is probably more sensational than most of them will be, but I suspect that what this team encounters will be pretty high-profile and extreme on a regular basis.
How long will it last? The reviews are better than I had expected, with this show ranking on the higher end compared to a number of new pilots even if it’s still only moderately liked. This show was not the ratings winner on Tuesday night, not even of the pilots that debuted that night. CBS has high standards for its series’ performances, and this start is far from promising.

Pilot grade: D

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