Herc Wizzes By
CBS’ GOLDEN BOY!!
CBS, home of “Blue Bloods,” “The Mentalist,” “Hawaii Five-O,” “NCIS,” “NCIS LA,” “CSI,” “CSI NY,” “Vegas,” “Criminal Minds,” “Person Of Interest” and “Elementary,” does not out of its comfort zone to launch this new crime drama.
The flashback-happy series follows the early career of an ambitious cop who becomes the youngest NYPD commissioner in history. He’s played by Theo James, who portrayed Lady Mary Crawley’s (and closeted footman Thomas Barrow’s) ill-fated Turk in the third episode of “Downton Abbey.”
Sadly the lead character did not earn his nickname by urinating on uncooperative witnesses. That would make for a distinctive hourlong, which “Golden Boy” is not.
Created by Nicholas Wootton (“NYPD Blue,” “Brooklyn South,” “Law & Order,” “Prison Break,” “Chuck”), its pilot has been available online since last Tuesday is not sufficiently different from CBS’ other hourlong mysteries to rate space on my DVR.
It’s especially not sufficiently different from “Blue Bloods,” which stars Tom Selleck as the NYPD commissioner.
... a solid, meat-and-potatoes police procedural, and one that could potentially evolve into more depending on how the flash-forwards are used down the road.…
... smoothly made but entirely generic show that rides the squad-room-as-family metaphor hard. … just another nice-guy cop in just another middling CBS cop show.
... an ambitious character-driven drama over-enamored from the get-go with its tricky structure and coy premise. …
... It’s just another police procedural pretending to be something bigger, and I don’t feel all that compelled to stick around and watch this golden boy grow up. …
... a passable new cop show from CBS that relies on a flash-forward gimmick to set it apart from other TV cop shows. …
... By the third try, the flashbacks become tedious. Other than the unspooling of the ghost of policework past, "Golden Boy" is so formulaic as to be instantly forgettable …
... does not display the verisimilitude of, say, TNT's "Southland" but "Golden Boy" offers more sophisticated storytelling than CBS's "Hawaii Five-0" or "Criminal Minds." … In addition to softening Clark in episode two, the Arroyo character gets hardened. It's as if CBS executives didn't trust their instincts when they ordered "Golden Boy," a more nuanced show for the network, and then went flailing about to make the series more black and white and less gray. This doesn't ruin "Golden Boy" but it is a disappointing backpedal from a promising premiere.
... What doesn’t work at all in the first two episodes of “Golden Boy” is the more familiar procedural material. The crimes of the week are just bland, late “Law & Order”-level stories. It must be hard to write procedurals these days, since it seems as though every possible twist on the homicide case has already been done. But a show such as “The Closer” managed to keep the crimes vital by hiring strong actors-of-the-week and making their characters more than types. Perhaps, with time, the writers will be able to devote more attention to that critical component. The cops on “Golden Boy” have too much dimension to set them against such a flat background. …
... In its best moments, the drama has the grit of something more likely to be found on cable channel TNT. “Golden Boy” should keep reaching for the brass ring. …
... To be sure, Golden Boys will not appeal to anyone looking for the new or the novel; it's typical CBS cop-show candy, gussied up with a told-as-a-flashback coating and a long-arc mystery at the chewy center. But how often do any of us turn up our noses at candy? …
... The cases themselves are nothing new -- indeed, it's all pretty standard procedural stuff, with the only extracurricular detour involving Clark's young sister (Stella Maeve), who he looks after. Yet the device of the flashbacks offers a nifty kicker, teasing at things to come …
10 p.m. Tuesday. CBS.
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