Monday, September 17, 2007


The new network television is starting to roll out slowly but surely (the debuts and season premieres stretch well into October) and I’m not really excited about much. But I’ll approach it with as open a mind as possible.

K-Ville, Fox’s new cop show, uses post-Katrina (hence, the “K” in K-Ville) New Orleans as a background. The lead character, Marlin Boulet (the always amazing Anthony Anderson), is a cop who lives in the devastated upper Ninth Ward and who is trying to get his wife and daughter to return to what he still considers home. Boulet’s new partner, Trevor Cobb (a very fine Cole Hauser), is an Army vet with a dark secret who’s joined the New Orleans Police Department seeking a kind of redemption. Boulet and Cobb are, as a matter of course, opposites…one black, one white, one hot-headed and hard-drinking, one calm and adverse to drinking while on duty, one with his passionate heart on his sleeve and one close-mouthed and guarded…and, of course, you know that they will become trusting partners as the series continues.

And that’s the problem. When all is said and done K-Ville is, New Orleans location aside, just another cop show that hits a lot of the familiar cop show beats. A cop show complete with a squad of colorful cops, a gruff Captain with a heart of gold (John Carroll Lynch), frenetic car chases and shootouts, and tired plots with “shocking” twists that are neatly tied up by the end of the hour. New Orleans is, in the end, mostly just window dressing for an otherwise ordinary police procedural with soap opera touches that carry most of the character development.

Andrews and Hauser do, however, raise the bar with their strong performances (even as they deal with the melodrama of their characters: Boulet’s family problems and drinking and Cobb’s dark secret which is revealed at the end of the first episode.)

K-Ville is okay…and it may grow into something better but it’s not enough to sway my attention from the return of Heroes in the same timeslot on September 24th.

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