The Unusuals: reviews

By David Knox on April 11, 2009 / Filed Under News 3

theunusualsNine has the rights to the new US cop drama The Unusuals, which made a sluggish debut this week in the US, earning just 6.8 million viewers in its 10 p.m. time slot. The show, with Amber Tamblyn and Jeremy Renner, trailed CBS’s CSI: NY (which drew 12.5 million) but outperformed NBC’s 10 p.m. repeat of Law & Order (4.7 million).

EW.com liked the show saying:… I’m still sorta surprised that I liked ABC’s latest offering, The Unusuals, as much as I did. They’re telling you how “kooky” it is right there in the title. Luckily, the writing and acting are more subtle. The premise of the show is simple: Every cop has a secret, and it seems we’ll be spending most of our time trying to figure out what Det. Jason Walsh (Jeremy Renner) is hiding. His crooked-but-redeemable partner, who’d been keeping files on the other detectives, has just been murdered, and he’s paired with Det. Casey Shraeger (Amber Tamblyn).

NY Daily News said: ABC’s latest police drama, “The Unusuals,” manages to tap into both the dark tension and the zany absurdity of a cop’s life in New York. It may be possible to intercut the hunt for a cop killer with goofy vignettes about the cartoonish Detective Eddie Alvarez (Kai Lennox), who refers to himself in the third person and whose oblivious, self-serving view of the world would be right at home on ABC’s new office sitcom “Better Off Ted.” Wednesday night’s show doesn’t quite make that integration work. It may, as weeks go by. But doing it is trickier than it looks. On the brighter side, every successful cop show needs a core squad we like, and “The Unusuals” seems to have a promising foundation. If you’re looking for a show that captures the best of both those worlds, however, call Wednesday night’s premiere episode a work-in-progress.

Variety said: The quirkiness surrounding police work is hardly new, but that’s the shaky foundation for “The Unusuals” — a puzzling ABC series seemingly predicated on the notion that New York detectives are every bit as eccentric as the perps they take off the streets. The premiere represents an uneven introduction to the denizens of the second precinct, with — to hark back to the “Blues,” as in “Hill Street” and “NYPD” — an ensemble heavily tilted toward Belkers and Medavoys. So while the show does qualify as slightly unusual, its ability to be consistently interesting is another matter…… For all that, the series has assembled a promising cast, including Perrineau, Goldberg and Terry Kinney as the unit’s snarling captain. In addition, there are vague hints at more sober storylines to come — if, thus far, little reason to emotionally invest in them.

The Hollywood Reporter said: The show’s far from flawless. There’s an odd lack of atmosphere in the squad room (boy, it’s quiet) and on the street (despite on-location shoots, New York feels depopulated). And while the decor is sufficiently gritty and industrial, many of the cast look as if they’re from “Life on Mars,” which this series replaces. When did it become the 1970s again? That aside, “Unusuals” is a rapid-fire, clever mix of style and content — with the bonus of having one of TV’s best collection of actor orphans: Harold Perrineau (“Lost”) and Adam Goldberg (“Entourage”) may never get their own show, but along with “Joan of Arcadia’s” Tamblyn and character actor Kinney, they make for an unparalleled ensemble cast. Overall, a solid setup. Now all “The Unusuals” need is for someone to start paying attention.

3 Comments »

  1. Craig April 11, 2009 at 8:25 pm -

    Okay time to add another item to my list, because you know Nine will take forever to show it and then ax it after 2 weeks! Thats if they show it at all, I’m still waiting for S2 of Primeval which they promoted the hell out of last year without airing it.

  2. Neon Kitten April 11, 2009 at 7:47 pm -

    Nine has the rights…but will Nine ever show it?

  3. Captain Awesome April 11, 2009 at 6:59 pm -

    it was actually a great first ep

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