TV Review: NYC 22 Has Fresh Characters in a Stale Package

I’m not convinced that the world really needs another hour-long drama about rookie cops on patrol, but if it does, NYC 22 (CBS Sunday 10 p.m.) will suffice. Created by novelist-screenwriter Richard Price (Clockers, Sea of Love, The Wire), the show follows a team of blue-uniformed younglings as they learn to police America’s biggest city.

The pilot introduces the main cast of greenhorns and growly veterans with a sprightly, hip-hop-scored going-to-work montage, then fills in their family history and reveals what led them to police work. The best thing about this series is the way it delivers exposition and fleshes out characters without feeling as though it’s handing the audience a succession of annotated index cards. The dramaturgy is old-school, strictly third person limited: no dream sequences, no narration, no documentary-style onscreen titles, nada, just people doing and saying things while the camera looks on. The worst thing about it is the tediously flat yet glossy photography (a persistent problem on CBS dramas), and its intrusive and mediocre underscoring, which sometimes makes a good (if familiar) series insufferable. During the first couple of episodes, there were points at which the cast was acting its collective ass off in an intense yet fundamentally believable scene, and the music was working so hard to sell the horror, pathos, or poignancy of the moment that the moment’s finer qualities were suffocated. Read More...


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