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What’s this show called … NYC 22?

Each week I review a show that's new to me. Good idea, or punishment (mine or yours)? You be the judge. But either way, if I had to watch it, the least you can do is read what I have to say....

Whats this show called ... NYC 22? [nyc 22 cast a h 425x239] (IMAGE)

“From Robert De Niro” was about the only thing the new CBS cop procedural, NYC 22, had to put out there to get me to tune in. Unfortunately I missed the pilot — can you believe that it’s not On Demand? — but I figure there’s only so much I could have missed that couldn’t be picked up by tuning in for week two.

First an observation: Adam Goldberg (here as Ray Harper) as a rookie cop? Not only has Goldberg been in Hollywood for twenty years, with his memorable turn as Chandler’s new roommate Eddie Menuek back in ’96, but as Detective Eric Delahoy on The Unusuals he already served under a Terry Kinney (here as Daniel Dean) character. That’s just weird.

Okay, so rookie cops. Not exactly a novel concept, considering the fact that Rookie Blue already crashed and burned this decade. And of course the cop procedural has been done, to different levels of success. What separates NYC 22? Or rather, what has to separate NYC 22 in order for the show to survive? Characters. Let’s see who we’ve got.

On The Unusuals Goldberg was deliciously crazy. As Ray Harper, however, he’s kind of bland. Despite what I said above, he actually nails a rookie cop — young, naive, and unformed. How that works for a television character, though? I’m not sure it’s what you want. I enjoyed watching him and his partner try to stem the tide of a drug war on a single city street in a single night, but unless that’s their permanent assignment — The Wire! — that story was a one-show pony.

Kenny McLaren (Stark Sands) was also blah … that despite his attempts to woo Michelle Terry (Sonequa Martin-Green) by saving her banger brother T-Rex (Odiseas Georgiadis). His partner Jennifer Perry (Leelee Sobieski), on the other hand, was most definitely not. She didn’t do very much save for making light of Kenny’s love story, but I got a strong current of funny from her. With so many characters on one show it’s never easy to stand out, but if she gets the chance, Leelee Sobieski could make a splash on the show.

Jayson “Jackpot” Toney (Harold House Moore) is a character to watch as well. The presence of his old friend Monsta White (Sticky Fingaz) certainly helped Jackpot stand out during episode two, but it’s clear that his is an outsized personality regardless. I’m not sure how much of the life he described living before joining the force he actually could have accomplished as a teenager, but the series will help prove that out if given the opportunity. Ahmad Khan (Tom Reed), meanwhile, is a bit of a mouse, but those guys can surprise. Or not.

Then there’s Daniel Dean (Kinney). Commercials make Dean look like a tired shepherd herding an unruly flock; the series itself doesn’t do much different. Is it a bad sign when the “godfather” of the cast seems put upon to be there? There’s comedy in that, but therein also runs the risk that viewers will pick up on that sentiment and run with it … away from the show.

Overall? NYC 22 is a run-of-the-mill series. Neither outstanding nor cancellation worthy, at least not yet. Should fans of the awesome The Unusuals rejoice that our show is back? Nope. NYC 22 doesn’t have a cast of quirky characters … but they might grow on you. At the very least Mr. De Niro makes it worth a second look.

Photo Credit: CBS

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4 Responses to “What’s this show called … NYC 22?”

April 25, 2012 at 10:39 PM

Heck, I watched this show in the first place because Goldberg and Kinney were in it, playing police officers to boot. That being said, I knew it would be tonally dissimilar to The Unusuals.

Although you can get a very good sense of the mood and flavor of the show from one episode, you did miss out on the character details and exposition that would answer some of your questions.

Goldberg is supposed to be that old. His character was a newspaper reporter in the city for many years before being unceremoniously let go, and he knows these streets better than his fellow rookies, although he has no more law enforcement experience than they do (and less than Sobieski). His downward spiral cost him his home, marriage, and children before he decided to start his life over again as a police officer. There was even a comment or joke about his being too old to enter the Academy; I don’t remember clearly, but he might have had to legally compel them to consider his application.

Sobieski was an MP in Afghanistan until recently, so has more real world experience than the others, and seemed a little bit of a badass in the pilot. She has a will-they-or-won’t-they vibe with Jackpot, who hits on her fairly blatantly and a tad chauvinistically.

Jackpot was some kind of famous professional athlete until his career-ending injury. I got the impression that he had a very bright but very short career, hence his relative youthfulness. I doubt he was a teenager at the time, though.

Kinney is tough but fair, competent, and a good training officer. I doubt he’ll be any more of a deterrence to viewership than the cranky bosses on any other ensemble show.

I like NYC 22 well enough, but the show is definitely cancel-worthy (as you can tell, I haven’t bothered to learn any of the characters’ names yet). It’s ratings are too low for NBC to keep it on the air, let alone CBS, and made it DOA. It’s even lower than The Good Wife, and lacks that show’s prestigious awards.

April 27, 2012 at 6:59 PM

Thanks for the background. I wish we’d seen some of that character from Goldberg this past episode, but that exposition could be interesting.

April 26, 2012 at 9:09 AM

Rookie Blue crashed and burned?

I’m not propping up summer network programing as being the touchstone, but it has done incredibly well in two seasons ratings wise compared to other summer shows.

The third season was actually announced only three episodes into the second season.

Rookie Blue is still going strong, my friend.

April 27, 2012 at 6:58 PM

Whoops! I never would have guessed that it was still around, but my fault for not double checking. Thanks!