Backstrom-in-Vancouver-300x235Good thing I decided to resurrect the old blog today, as my account was suspended for non-payment over at Godaddy. Almost lost all the content! Where would the world be without my interview with Tony Danza?

Anyhow, I’m back at the keyboard, tryina keep it simple. I’m just gonna talk about what I normally like to talk about, which is the shit I’m watching and reading and being entertained by. I probably won’t be consistent. I tend to think of blog time as keyboard time I’m stealing from writing actual books, and hey, let’s be honest, a lot of writers out there are worrying about SEO when they would better serve their hopes and dreams and deepest desires if they worried more about word count. But still, why not give it a try?

So how do you like the title? Can I half-ass this any more?

Then let’s get started appropriately with Backstrom, the new FOX cop show about a curmudgeonly, alcoholic, brilliant, unpredictable investigator. Yeah, I know what you’re thinking, that sounds like a fastball right over the home plate of detective tropes. Is that a bad thing? Totally not. I just don’t like how I get this feeling like FOX is introducing this as if it were a new angle on the genre. I really bet that pitch meeting was interesting. “Now I’m really going to blow your minds….and he smokes cigars!!!”

I can't get my upload tool to work, so here is a picture of Marilyn Manson without make up...pretend it's a promo pic for Backstrom

I couldn’t get my upload tool to work, so here is a picture of Marilyn Manson without make up…pretend it’s a promo pic for Backstrom. (Have since fixed the issue, but this is staying here. Might just include him in every blog post I ever do goddamit.)

Okay, so we’re struggling out of the gates with the impoverished vision for the program. The show isn’t terrible. It’s a little bland, but most of these cop shows on network TV are. The setting is Portland, which I dig. P-town is a legitimately weird town. Good fodder for episodic cop dramedy, and we might get some wicked awesome Fred Armisen cameos if this show takes off. The star is Rainn Wilson, formerly of The Office fame and the brilliantly portrayed Dwight Schrute. The cast has one or two notables, but the rest are new faces, which is probably nice for the bottom line. The pilot was half decent. I think I missed part of the plot and kept watching, which tells me a lot because I’m OCD about that shit. I have to rewind if I miss a single word usually. So if I missed a whole plot point and don’t bother going back, let’s just say you aren’t gripping me. Also, there were some legitimately cringe-worthy moments in the dialogue, mistakes by the writers that sent the voice and character of Backstrom over the edge and stood in the way of creating, for me, a cohesive and interesting character.

But there are some aspects to like, aspects that give me hope that things might come together into a solid viewing experience. Backstrom, I don’t think you’ll ever be a true favorite, but you might end up being better than Selfie…ie you might not get axed after like two episodes. (Who approves this garbage?)

So, Rainn Wilson is really great as our somewhat trope-laden, stubborn alcoholic detective. The man has a face that really lets you know this character has no fucks left to give. I think the most impressive person in the show is the costume designer who probably has done a better job than the writers have at this point of letting us see who this man is. The cruddy ball caps, the flannel, the muddy orange rain poncho…pure gold. Not gonna lie.

And then we got Dennis Haysbert…Dennis, do you need the money, man? Those Allstate commercials not paying anymore? I dunno guys, it’s just real creepy seeing Dennis Haysbert in a show where A) he isn’t the main man or B) Jack Bauer is the star, but your boy Haysbert is at least the muhfuh PRESIDENT! It just isn’t right seeing that guy playing second fiddle. You got too much grativas to be demeaning yourself like this, but hey, you’re probably going to be punching well above your weight on this show. Lucky them.

Addition: Have since found out Backstrom originated from a popular book series in Sweden. Man, those Swedes love their Cop/Crime Fiction. Also found out it is filmed in Vancouver. Poor Vancouver. Everybody uses you for your cheap filming locations, but no one ever actually sets their stories there.

How would I rate it overall? I give it two golden chainsaws flying through the air toward a kiddie pool full of pudding.

Well, there. I blogged….about what I’m watching.