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Herc Dares To Cross

I am – Hercules!!

An FX crime drama, “The Bridge” follows Chihuahua State Police detective Marco Ruiz (Demian Birchir, who played a bordertown gangster/politician in “Weeds”), who finds himself teaming with Sonya Cross (Diane Kruger, a long way from “Inglourious Basterds” and Bridget Von Hammersmark), a blonde Texas cop, to find a serial killer who hops effortlessly between El Paso and Juarez. The new series comes to us from “Cold Case” creator Meredith Stiehm (whose writing credits include many episodes of “Beverly Hills 90210,” “NYPD Blue,” “ER” and “Homeland”) and veteran TV writer Elwood Reid (“Cold Case,” “Hawaii Five-0”). It is based on the Scandinavian series “Bron,” which deals with a killer operating in Sweden and Denmark.

You’d think teaming American and Mexican cops would constitute enough novelty for a cop show, but the creators have given Cross a nasty case of Asperger’s syndrome, which often makes her behave like Data, the socially awkward android from “Star Trek: The Next Generation.”

Is it too much for this series to bear? Maybe it will help in the long run? It certainly helps differentiate it a bit from AMC’s serial-killer serial “The Killing,” which is also based on a Scandinavian cop series.

Cross’ police supervisor is played by Ted Levine, who only a few years ago finished playing the cop who supervised Adrian Monk, a detective with more than a few personality traits fans will come to associate with Kruger’s character.

The series also stars Matthew Lillard (“Scooby-Doo,” “The Descendants”) as an abrasive reporter and Annabeth Gish (“The X-Files,” “Brotherhood”) as a rich widow who takes an interest in a married man.

Do early episodes of “The Bridge” engender love the way FX’s “Justified” and “The Americans” pilots did? Well, no.

I can tell you it was easy enough to stick with the 90-minute “Bridge” pilot and the two subsequent episodes. I might even be back for episode four when that rolls around.

Hitfix says:

... "The Bridge" is off to such an outstanding start that I can't wait to see what this creative team does not only with the rest of the serial killer story, but well beyond it. …

HuffPost TV says:

... In this day and age, it's astonishing that so many mainstream movies and films avoid topics like immigration and fraught border relations, but "The Bridge" incorporates these issues into its ongoing story in thoughtful and suspenseful ways. Bichir, however, is the main reason to tune in at first; his performance is quietly masterful and serves as a necessary anchor to the first three episodes, which are generally solid but exhibit some growing pains. …

The New York Times says:

... “The Bridge,” which has a bigger budget, a cast that includes Diane Kruger (“Inglourious Basterds”) and Demian Bichir (“Weeds”), and a far more combustible backdrop, somehow falls short. It is louder, bolder and more lurid than the original, and also more boring. “The Bridge” is disturbing; it’s just not that interesting. …

The San Francisco Chronicle says:

... A few missteps notwithstanding, The Bridge crackles with intelligence and great acting at every turn. …

The Washington Post says:

... addictive and moody … I still (yes, still!) watch “The Killing” for almost the exact same reason I’m eagerly awaiting more episodes of “The Bridge”: the characters. As with “The Killing’s” mismatched crime solvers (played by Mireille Enos and Joel Kinnaman), Ruiz and Cross are far more fascinating than the murder they’re trying to solve. …

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette says:

... By the end of the premiere, "The Bridge" has zigged and zagged in several unexpected directions that culminate in a nail-biter set piece. It's enough to get viewers on board for another episode -- if they've stayed past those awkward first 15 minutes. …

The Boston Globe says:

... It’s yet another one of TV’s serial-killer puzzles: more mystified cops, more severed bodies, more profiling. And yes, it’s also yet another buddy-cop TV setup, with a pair of detectives who bicker but whose talents nonetheless mesh. And yet FX’s new drama “The Bridge” rises well above those too-familiar TV tropes and expands into a portrait of a particular part of the world and its people. …

The Hollywood Reporter says:

... The Bridge is mandatory viewing for drama lovers, but it will be interesting to see where the writers take it and whether they have the big-league ability to make the evident potential materialize. One thing they’ve hopefully learned is that sometimes holding back information isn’t mysterious, it’s just confusing.

Variety says:

... stumbles badly in its mismatched detectives. Although there are elements here that merit continued attention, most notably Demian Bichir as a dedicated Mexican cop, there are too many missteps to ensure safe passage. …

10 p.m. Wednesday. FX.

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