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Sunday, March 1, 2015

PILOT REVIEW: Battle Creek

BATTLE CREEK










Starring: Josh Duhamel, Dean Winters, Aubrey Dollar, Edward Fordham Jr., with Kal Penn, and Janet McTeer

Created by Vince Glligan and David Shore
Written by Vince Gilligan & David Shore, Directed by Bryan Singer

THE PREMISE: Battle Creek is a new drama that is set in industrial city Battle Creek, Michigan. Milton Chamberlain (Josh Duhamel) is an FBI special agent assigned to Battle Creek and paired up with veteran cop Russ Agnew (Dean Winters). Rounding out the main cast are co-workers Aaron Funkhauser (Edward Fordham Jr.) and Fontanelle White (Kal Penn) as well as Commander Guziewicz (Aubrey Dollar).

THE GOOD: I thought this had a great start as the cold open seemed like it had a real funny side to your average crime drama. The scene in the diner was a fast and funny start that made it seem like this show might take itself a little less seriously than others. The performances are good, particularly the dynamics between Josh Duhamel and Dean Winters as the "odd couple" cops. The show got back to the funny humor and dynamics towards the end of the episode, which made me hopeful for its future. It also has a good blue-collar feel that I hope they continue to capitalize on.

THE BAD: The problem was that in-between, it was a pretty by-the-book crime drama with its case of the week. There was very little to offer in terms of a new story or look to the genre. The humor that was so prevalent in the beginning and end of the episode was largely missing from the middle. If this is going to be a show like it was at the beginning and end, I'll keep watching. If it's like it was in the middle, I already watch enough shows like that.

BOTTOM LINE: I think there's a lot of potential here but it needs to have a real vision and sense of what it wants to be for it to work. Right now, it's there a little bit but not fully and that sometimes happens in pilots. The performances and setting and potential will give it another week for me.

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