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Saturday, February 4, 2017

PILOT REVIEW: Training Day


Starring: Bill Paxton, Justin Cornwell, Katrina Law, Drew Van Acker, Julie Benz, Lex Scott Davis, and Marianne Jean-Baptiste

Based on the Screenplay "Training Day" by David Ayer
Developed for Television by Will Beall
Teleplay by Will Beall, Story by David Ayer, Directed by Danny Cannon

Training Day is yet another movie turned into TV show where I haven't seen the source material. So I can't compare this to the acclaimed Denzel Washington-Ethan Hawke movie, I can only comment on the TV show and I don't have much to say. It is set 15 years after the film and focuses on an LAPD officer, Kyle Craig (Justin Cornwell), who is tasked with infiltrating an LAPD Special Investigation Section to keep an eye on rogue Detective Frank Roarke (Bill Paxton). The rest of the main cast includes the SIS team (Katrina Law and Drew Van Acker), Kyle's wife Alyse (Lex Scott Davis) and supervisor, Joy Lockhart (Marianne Jean-Baptiste), and a Hollywood madam with ties to Frank (Julie Benz).

The premise is interesting and the film sounds very interesting but it was all pretty boring in the pilot. It was basically Lethal Weapon with the races in reverse and no humor. I am pretty tired of both procedural dramas that take themselves too seriously and the grizzled veteran cop with questionable ethics paired up with a wide eyed, by the book younger cop. And here we got both TV tropes. The performances were fine but Bill Paxton and Justin Cornwell are doing nothing here that hasn't been done to death before. I also thought the show was unusually violent for a CBS show.

It's easy to see why this show was pretty much ignored. Although Training Day was a popular and acclaimed movie at the time, it's not like it has become an iconic film. It isn't a franchise like Lethal Weapon, which has having a decent season on FOX or Rush Hour, which was a flop on CBS last year. This reminds me more of Minority Report: a mostly forgotten early 2000s movie that had no one asking or wanting a TV reboot. I'm not against all reboots or remakes but it's sad that a network will pick such a generic show for their lineup just because the title is somewhat recognizable instead of taking chances on more ambitious projects. And when they do take chances, it pays off more. Look at the most successful shows in recent memory, especially dramas. Very rarely are they remakes or reboots. But don't worry, there's still plenty more lined up for next season.

No thank you.

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