'Memphis Beat' is like a Bizarro World version of 'My Name Is Earl.' They're both set in the south, Dwight is a smart, serious version of Earl, and even his ex-wife is like a nicer, classier version of his ex from that show. Maybe that's a superficial comparison but it sticks out nonetheless.
Actually, it's like a lot of shows. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, but it's not necessarily a good thing either. As we see more and more episodes of 'Memphis Beat' it seems more and more like just a routine show.
Maybe I was expecting a different type of show, but I want 'Memphis Beat' to be moodier, darker, a show that dwells more on the dark side of Dwight, on the supporting cast a bit more, something that incorporates the music to create something more emotional and effective. We've had moments here and there in the first few episodes (like the ending of tonight's episode with the couple), but too many times the routine overwhelms the special.
Take tonight's episode, for example. A beauty pageant contestant goes missing and Dwight and Charlie investigate. What could have been an interesting look at the world of beauty pageants is actually just a by-the-numbers case, even if it is populated by funky characters like dog-loving make-up artists, bikers and creepy pageant officials. It's as if the writers have this fun setting for the plot but don't go to all of the places they could go to, so it just turns out to be Dwight and Charlie (and the other members of the police) going from place to place, talking to witnesses and investigating. Just like every other cop show on TV. They have the cast and the setting and the ideas, but the execution is either routine or goofy.
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