Wednesday, June 23, 2010

ABC's "Rookie" Is Clueless

Here’s the headline on a very funny, mock retirement story written by Jeff Simon about me: “He Watched Crap So We Didn’t Have To.”

My role hasn’t changed as a blog critic.

That’s a perfect introduction to “Rookie Blue,” the new ABC drama that premieres at 9 p.m. Thursday on WKBW-TV. It’s a Canadian production that makes a routine Canadian cop series that CBS has aired, “Flashpoint,” look like an Emmy winner.

“Rookie Blue” is about five attractive rookie cops who don’t have a clue.

Sort of like the show’s production team.

How bad is it?

It is hard to tell when this series filmed in Toronto intentionally tries to be funny and when it unintentionally is funny.

They say good cops can assess a situation in a few minutes or less. It often takes about the long for veteran TV critics to assess a new show.

"Rookie" starts with some narration by the lead rookie, Andy McNally (played by Missy Peregrym), that seems to try and conjure up a cop version of “Grey’s Anatomy.”

Quickly, the crappy dialogue keeps in.

“There is absolutely no training that prepares you for life” at the 15th Street Station, the rookies are told.

Then Andy is given an inspiring talk from the veteran policeman she is paired with on her first day on the job: “People can smell new cops like they can smell fresh paint.”

Thus the title of the pilot, “Fresh Paint.”

Critics can smell moldy show ideas like they can smell good popcorn.

There isn’t a moment involving a transgender suspect, an undercover cop, a single mother or a proud father that a rookie TV critic can’t see from Buffalo to Toronto.

Gregory Smith of “Everwood” fame is one of the rookies, Dov Epstein (that name is the only original part of the show), who wants to take his gun home to bond with.

I don’t think that is intended to be funny.

He and a female colleague also are confused about which sex should frisk a transgender suspect and the definition of transgender.

“Can you please explain to us exactly what that means?” Dov asked the suspect.

I think that is supposed to be funny.

However, some people around here may be confused to after the Batavia woman accused of having sex at a park recently claimed that her husband was transgender (according to TV reports).

Now back to “Rookie Blue,” which seems determined to remind us that cops like a good beer, some good music and some good laughs after a tough day at the office.

Our heroine Andy may be the most apologetic cop in TV history. She apologizes to fellow cops AND suspects.

It is ABC that should be apologizing for putting this crap on even in the summer when expectations are lower than usual.

Rating: 1 star out of 4

* I’m really not trying to upset Channel 4 weather god Pope Don Paul anymore. But I have to point out that Channel 7 used Dave Cash as its weather anchor Tuesday. Cash normally does traffic. He did a decent job explaining the weather, too.

Coming after Channel 2 had Josh Boose doing weather last week, it is apparent that Paul shouldn’t be complaining to me about his field not getting enough respect. He should be complaining to stations that are run by people who seem to think that anyone can do weather in the summer when vacations are more plentiful.

* After hearing for the third or fourth time on talk radio about President Obama’s recent comment about looking to “kick some ass” in regards to the Gulf oil spill, it should be noted that the President didn’t come up with that phrase by himself. He was merely repeating a phrase that NBC’s Matt Lauer put in his question to the President during a “Today” show interview. Replays of the phrase often ignore the question, which removes the context of the remark.

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