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Hercules Says CBS’s Latest Canadian Cop Show, Saturday’s THE BRIDGE, Isn’t Half Bad!!

I am – Hercules!!
Aaron Douglas, who played labor-leader spaceship mechanic Galen Tyrol on Syfy's “Battlestar Galactica,” plays labor-leader Toronto cop Frank Leo on CTV’s “The Bridge,” and he’s the best reason to tune in to its CBS premiere tonight. It’s not in the same league as "The Wire," but it has a strong opening and its 2-hour pilot was compelling enough to hold my attention, which puts it a cut above most CBS fare. It’s about a popular cop who finds himself using the police union to root out corruption. If you’ve nothing better to do on a hot July Saturday night, I say give the first five minutes a look and see if it doesn’t grab you as it grabbed me. The New York Times says:
… the series is in the “NYPD Blue” and “Southland” vein, trying for realism. It isn’t in those shows’ league, but it’s a welcome change from the glossy triviality of other summer filler like “Rookie Blue” or “The Good Guys.”… flat and occasionally tone-deaf writing, which hits a low point when a cop says, at a particularly tragic juncture, “Sometimes I think the world is held together by nothing but God’s tears.” The performances outside the lead roles are also shaky, though Aaron Douglas (the super-mechanic Tyrol in “Battlestar Galactica”) is fine as Leo and it’s nice to see the Robert Altman regular Michael Murphy pop up here as a cagy police chief. …
The Los Angeles Times says:
… Clearly, creator Craig Bromell, himself a former Toronto police chief, has David Simon-like aspirations. As in "The Wire," the corruption in the Toronto police department is systemic rather than the work of one or two villains (although the early appearance of an almost laughably Nazi-like female deputy chief assures us that Canada's reputation for mildness does not preclude sexism). But "The Bridge" does not have the depth, or the patience, of "The Wire." In the pilot, things happen far too quickly and over-dramatically. … Although overblown in message and action, "The Bridge" is well-performed and worth watching if only to see if it will stand by its thesis: that real change comes from people working together. Or if it will succumb to the standards of the time and evolve into yet another show in which a male lead battles forces within and without to discover who he really is. This time in Canada.
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette says:
… By no means a great show, "The Bridge" is at least a little bit different from most police procedurals. … While "The Shield" touched on police unions, "The Bridge" approaches the issue more directly, which makes the show unique in at least one aspect. Other elements -- a snitch among the rank-and-file, Frank's liason with a fellow officer -- seem more familiar and somewhat dull. …
The Hollywood Reporter says:
… a muscular new police series for CBS that has early potential. … in its best moments, echoes "The Shield." Alas, there are not enough of those moments, and "Bridge" quickly loses focus. …
Variety says:
… isn't arresting enough to become the sort of self-starter necessary to succeed in the ghetto of broadcast television. … Series seems to be begging for a more nuanced treatment of police hierarchy but too often settles for one-dimensional heroics. That said, there's something intriguing about a summer show that is at once too complicated in storytelling and too simplistic in aesthetics to comfortably mesh with CBS' flashy procedural-stacked lineup. "The Bridge" at least makes a stronger first impression than the summer's other new Canadian cop import, ABC's "Rookie Blue."
8 p.m. Saturday. CBS.
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Readers Talkback
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  • July 10, 2010, 5:23 p.m. CST

    The Bridge Kicks A$$

    by Mighty Chin

    The whole season has already aired up here in Canada and I tell you it only gets better. Great characters and gritty story lines keep you coming back for more.

  • July 10, 2010, 5:40 p.m. CST

    wow, they are airing that down there?

    by Bouncy X

    its bad enough us in canada are stuck with our shitty tv shows, we shouldnt impose it upon poor america. wasn't bryan adams and celine dion enough damage? lol

  • July 10, 2010, 5:40 p.m. CST

    Worth it

    by NudeandAroused

    I like Douglas, I will Tivo it.

  • July 10, 2010, 5:42 p.m. CST

    Gets better

    by Asylim

    Yeah this show gets much better as it goes along. Hell of a season finale too.

  • July 10, 2010, 5:44 p.m. CST

    I know Aaron

    by bpmich71

    I have gotten to know Aaren at comic shows the last couple years, he was talking about this show when it was taping when a bunch of us were having some beers. he's real excited, i hope it takes off for him.

  • July 10, 2010, 5:46 p.m. CST

    PIlot is good

    by Prisoner_Zero

    Really decent, solid, probably one of the best pilots I've seen in a few years actually.<br /><br />But then the series itself seems like a different show entirely. It's still quite watchable, procedural but with a different feel to the usual crap. It just doesn't quite deliver on the promise of the pilot, is all.

  • July 10, 2010, 5:53 p.m. CST


    by Loosejerk

    Herc, you done fucked up missing the premiere of BB. Chenbot will hunt you down!

  • July 10, 2010, 6:01 p.m. CST

    fuck the police

    by animas

    how can anyone really watch another cop drama? seriously....

  • July 10, 2010, 6:03 p.m. CST

    Airs at 8 p.m. here on the east coast.

    by nostairway

    Because somebody (I won't mention who) left that rather important piece of info out of the article.

  • July 10, 2010, 6:31 p.m. CST

    Da Vinci's Inquest

    by Manatee

    God I loved that show. Sorry, whenever I see talk about Canadian cop shows, my mind always drifts to Da Vinci.

  • July 10, 2010, 8:05 p.m. CST

    How come Douglas isn't saying "aboot"?

    by Christopher3

    Is he playing to the U.S. audience?

  • July 10, 2010, 8:33 p.m. CST

    animas and Christopher3

    by Bouncy X

    not just any cop drama but a canadian one at that. its cute seeing my country try and make real shows but it always comes off as some cheap imitation. and Chris3, he'd only say aboot if it took place on the east coast. :P

  • July 10, 2010, 8:36 p.m. CST

    The fact that a cheap Canadian production is on par

    by Zerophyte

    in quality with your typical American TV Network is spelling demise for American Network TV. Cable is where the quality is. I blame Jeff Zucker.

  • July 10, 2010, 8:55 p.m. CST

    The REAL question is....

    by Hint_of_Smegma it as good as Due South?????

  • July 10, 2010, 8:55 p.m. CST

    Not much into cop shows either

    by Stunt Vocalist 709

    but I'll check it out just because of Douglas.<p>For those who haven't seen this, here's some fun: <p>

  • July 10, 2010, 8:59 p.m. CST

    surprisingly good

    by nostairway

    It's nice to see a cop show that actually makes an effort to do something original. I usually hate cop shows but this was surprisingly watchable. Hope CBS actually airs the rest of the season.

  • July 10, 2010, 9:50 p.m. CST


    by WeylandYutani

    Ya... Da Vinci's Inquest was a really well scripted series. There are a few good Canadian series now and then and that was one of the very best. It was hardly ever over the top and stayed understated to the end.

  • July 10, 2010, 10:29 p.m. CST

    It was a reboot of Hill Street Blues

    by RPLocke


  • July 10, 2010, 10:54 p.m. CST

    Uh..was BSG cute? cuz that was a Canadian Show....

    by Stormwatcher

    whatever you want to say: BSG was filmed in canada and filled with primarily Canadian Actors and crew so it was pretty much a Canadian show. and no one calls its quality into question. Look I'm not huge on my countries tv output either but I don't get why someone would say we are cute to ape our US counterparts when...well also so many massive US stars are Canadian.

  • July 10, 2010, 11:13 p.m. CST


    by xdiamondxdanx

    Wow, they really unloaded on Grandma in the getaway truck.

  • July 11, 2010, 12:21 a.m. CST


    by RPLocke

    BSG was filmed in Canada, but it was not a network show, nor was it influenced by a network like so many of today's show. It was the highest rated show on Sci Fi until they fucked up the scheduled by putting it on Sunday night in Season 3.

  • July 11, 2010, 12:26 a.m. CST

    Does he know he's a cylon?

    by snowpuff

  • July 11, 2010, 2:12 a.m. CST

    Why is CBS importing Canadian shows?

    by RedBull_Werewolf

    I feel so sorry for you americans, the shows up here are just awful. It's only a matter of time before you are getting reruns of The Beachcombers, The Racoons and Road to Avonlea

  • July 11, 2010, 2:22 a.m. CST



  • July 11, 2010, 5:58 a.m. CST

    is this show old?

    by punto

    I'm looking at some episodes from like, march. Is that the right show?

  • July 11, 2010, 6:23 a.m. CST

    Yes these episodes are

    by optimus122

    from earlier in the year in Canada. The whole first season was already ran there.

  • July 11, 2010, 8:51 a.m. CST

    Redbull sounds like another apologetic Canadian

    by Mighty Chin

    You feel sorry for Americans for having to watch our awful shows. I willing to bet you know nothing and have watched even less Canadian Made Television. Yet at the same time lap up the dreck that American networks have been spoon feeding you for years while squeaking "may I please have another!".

  • July 11, 2010, 9:33 a.m. CST

    Mighty chin

    by RedBull_Werewolf

    Sounds like your mom last night

  • July 11, 2010, 9:51 a.m. CST

    I liked Corner Gas

    by UserIDGoesHere

    When WGN showed it. I didn't get all the references, but it was pretty funny.

  • July 11, 2010, 10:19 a.m. CST


    by Mighty Chin

    Actually my Mom doesn't watch Canadian TV either! Oh wait I get it, you were implying that you had sex with my mom last night by insinuating that she spoke those words "May I please have another" to you after you left her breathless and begging for more! Is that right? Imagine that a Talkbacker actually had sex with a real live woman. Somehow that just doesn't seem likely! Can I call you Daddy now?

  • July 11, 2010, 11:08 a.m. CST

    "Saturday’s THE BRIDGE, Isn’t Half Bad!!"

    by jim

    Herc suprised me. I expected him to start the review with "... It's ALL bad!!". Just when I come to expect puns and double-entendres in all headlines Herc goes and gets all sincere and actually, kinda, liked it.

  • July 11, 2010, 11:59 a.m. CST

    BSG wasnt canadian because..

    by Bouncy X

    it was an american produced show, yes they filmed here and used many people from here. but MANY shows do that because its cheaper. it was made and produced by america and was the product of an american network. if filming in canada and using our people made a show canadian then damn....we'd have the longest list of television both good and bad in history. not to mention all the american movies that would belong to us.

  • July 11, 2010, noon CST

    Despite the fact that Canadians...

    by JayLenoTookMyJob

    ...are to Film and TV Production what the Taliban are to modern, civilized behavior?

  • July 11, 2010, 12:01 p.m. CST

    but that doesnt change the facts

    by Bouncy X

    our shows suck and nobody outside this country should be subjected to them, its bad enough we are. granted i'm whining for nothing since i dont watch them myself but i just care about our cousins to the south. :P

  • July 11, 2010, 12:23 p.m. CST

    I didn't know Craig Bromell created it. Now I'm interested.

    by Royston Lodge

    Craig Bromell was the president of the actual Toronto police union. He's one tough sunovabitch. He often butted heads with the mayor, the chief of police, the provincial govrnment, etc.<p> Now that I know he's the creative juice behind this show, I might have to buy the season on iTunes.

  • July 11, 2010, 12:37 p.m. CST

    believe it or not CSI is actually part Canadian

    by RedBull_Werewolf

    of course it's production values are all american, so it's been a successful show. Splice was also a canadian production. So we can be capable of good, but we need to have american actors or funding

  • July 11, 2010, 1:36 p.m. CST

    a popular[es] the police union to root out corruption.

    by SutureSelf

    Ha ha. That's a good one.

  • July 11, 2010, 3 p.m. CST

    Canadian drama kinda sucks, but their comedy rules.

    by Yamato

    Trailer Park Boys, Corner Gas, Red Green, Kevin Spencer and of course the old grand daddy, SCTV.

  • July 11, 2010, 3:14 p.m. CST

    Of course, you have to add "Night Heat"

    by ComputerGuy68

    One of the best mid 80's cop show that actually was proud to show that it was based in Toronto. <P> Plus a catchy theme song (80's cheese included)

  • July 11, 2010, 3:22 p.m. CST

    I kinda liked it....

    by moviemenace

    I stucked with it for the whole two hours. It's not the sharpest show. Some of the plot elements feel tacked on and the writing is a little hokey, but I think the lead is fantastic. He carries the show in a very believable way.

  • July 11, 2010, 7:35 p.m. CST

    I was addicted to E.N.G. and Traders.

    by Royston Lodge

    Traders is one of my favourite dramas of all-time. Sadly, it suffered in its later episodes after the show's best actors started taking jobs on American series.<p> E.N.G. suffered from that classic low-budget "Canadian look" that so many Canuck shows have, but the writing was top-notch.<p> Right now, I'm addicted to The Murdock Mysteries. Imagine C.S.I. set in the late 1800s. It's pretty creative.<p> And then, there are the cult classics like Seeing Things or Degrassi or Littlest Hobo, etc.<p> I see it this way: How many shows debut every year in the United States? Now, what percentage of those shows make it to the end of the season, let alone get picked up for a second season?<p> In Canada, MAYBE three to five shows debut in a year, IF it's a good year. Now, what percentage of those manage to find an audience? From that perspective, the batting average for Canuck television is pretty decent.

  • July 11, 2010, 8:55 p.m. CST

    looks good

    by Superponte

  • July 11, 2010, 10:23 p.m. CST

    Yeah we suck at normal movies and books

    by Kelg

    Its true. So true. Weird because we actively consume fantasy and normal stuff form abroad-but when it comes to making it-we just cant seem to figure it out unless the writer/director comes from elsewhere. That was the case with the slasher film period of the70s-80s.I like Cronenberg's early stuff but it wasnt entirely normal either. James Cameron left Canada at 17 so I dont think one can say he had a "canadian tv" upbringing. Our books are just as fucked up. We can send the actors and singers, just forget about the creative side. We only do quirky comedy stuff like Fido. The best "Canadian" movie I have see is Wolverine.

  • July 12, 2010, 7:35 a.m. CST

    Kelg? Really?

    by jtfernie

    "Forget about the creative side"? "Books are just as fucked up"? Holy crap. Turn in you Canadian passport fucktard. Or better yet here's a sample genre reading list. Get your coloured paper and crayolas ready. Margaret Atwood, Charles deLint, Cory Doctorow, Steven Erikson, William Gibson, Phyllis Gotlieb, Guy Gavriel Kay, Robert J. Sawyer, Karl Shroeder,Robert Charles Wilson. Just to name a few. Seriously.

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  • July 13, 2010, 5:57 p.m. CST


    by MrMysteryGuest

  • July 13, 2010, 10:20 p.m. CST

    Canada is ruled by Cock'd Gunns

    by bRoc

    Cock'd Gunns is simply the greatest Canadian Mock-doc TV series ever made. And it's on hulu now. Littlest Hobo is also good. So happy to see it back on TV.