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Wednesday, February 8, 2017

PILOT REVIEW: APB

APB















Starring: Justin Kirk, Natalie Martinez, Taylor Handley, Caitlin Stasey, Tamberla Perry, Nestor Serrano, and Ernie Hudson

Based on the Article "Who Runs the Streets of New Orleans?" by David Amsden
Created by David Slack, Developed by Matt Nix
Written by David Slack and Matt Nix, Directed by Len Wiseman

APB is a new drama that is basically Pure Genius set in a police world. In Chicago, eccentric tech billionaire Gideon Reeves (Justin Kirk) gets the reluctant permission of the mayor to reform one police precinct using state of the art technology following the death of a friend and the subsequent inability of police to do anything about it. He meets the staff whose opinions of this new way of doing things range from skeptical to downright resistance. In an action packed first hour, we get to see the new technologies at work as several leads are pursued.

I don't work in law enforcement but I get the feeling this show would get a great big eye roll from those that do. The idea that a billionaire with absolutely no experience can attempt to reform an entire system feels both far fetched and scarily close to home. Far fetched in the sense that it's hard to think this is a real possibility or that it could actually work in America's cities. Scarily close because an inexperienced billionaire running things seems very timely with not only our president but this week's confirmation of a new Education Secretary. To some extent, the show does address the "far fetched" elements to the pilot but it doesn't really go out of its way to really explore the struggles this setup might have or at least it didn't in the pilot. Gideon was far more successful than not.

The performances are serviceable here. I don't really find Justin Kirk all that likable and never have so I had a hard time connecting to him in the pilot. He wasn't as outwardly eccentric as the Pure Genius billionaire, played by Augustus Prew. I have always liked Natalie Martinez back to her days on the short lived but excellent cop show Detroit 1-8-7. She wasn't given a ton to do in the pilot but has potential. The rest of the cast was mostly forgettable but they were all decent.

APB ultimately though seems like it's going to be a cop show with drones. It's interesting that a show that's all about revolutionizing a decaying institution is seemingly a typical cop procedural: catch the bad guys using some interesting tactics, focus just a bit on personal lives, have a non-descript team. The police work may involve drones and high tech gadgetry but it's really just another cop drama. I'd love to see the show revolutionize its genre as much as Gideon Reeves revolutionizes the Chicago precinct but I'm skeptical.

WILL I WATCH IT AGAIN?
Yes, but I don't know if I'll give it another chance beyond that. It's fine but nothing special.

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