Last Night’s TV – K-Ville

Channel Five’s new cop show, K-Ville, kicked off last night with the pilot episode that was first viewed in the States rather too soon – so some critics opined – after Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans.

And Katrina forms the foundation on which this show is built, hence the title, which is short for Katrina Ville, the moniker afforded to New Orleans in the wake of the hurricane.

The concept however, aside from that one ‘twist’, is one that we’ve seen thousands of times before; there’s the good, solid, family man cop and the rogue, kinda-mysterious cop who doesn’t play well with others.

Chuck them together in a hasty partnership and you can expect rule abiding from one, rule breaking from the other, and of course, the obligatory flashbacks and ‘issues’ of which Americans are so enamoured…

It used to be ‘Nam, then it was Eye Rack, and in K-Ville, it’s Katrina that provides the I-don’t-wanna-talk-about-it-man moments. Oh, and for the renegade cop, Afghanistan too.

You could see clearly the influence of innumerable cop shows and movies in creator Jonathan Lisco’s writing, and unfortunately the script and situational drama were tired and jaded for that very reason.

The main protagonists, Marlin Boulet and Trevor Cobb – played by Anthony Anderson and Cole Hauser respectively – were reminiscent of Lethal Weapon’s Danny Glover and Mel Gibson, and having set the mould for them in the pilot, I suspect it’s going to be nigh on impossible to have these characters grow in any meaningful way.

And the main plotline for the pilot was rather weak too. It involved a charity function where there was a shootout – cue much running with guns and ducking – followed by another with, somewhat incredibly, no increased security measures, and yet more gun play.

Lobbed in was what I suspect will be a running theme; exhaustion and overworked cops, and what the sum of the parts amounted to was little of real value.

That said, while the settings and cinematics couldn’t be described as ‘lavish’, equally it obviously wasn’t done on a shoestring, so perhaps the investment in those things will help K-Ville to improve over time.

And to be fair, it’s often the pilot episode that’s the worst of any series, simply because we’re asked to take a lot on board and can therefore miss the subtleties that can make a show good in the long run.

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