“The Rookie” caught my attention for one simple reason. Nathan Fillion. There are only a few actors and directors I will follow anywhere. Most men and women alike have to agree that Nathan Fillion belongs on that list. While I missed out on “Castle” “The Rookie” a by the numbers cop show with enough tongue in cheek to let him shine as both charming and amusing had promise. But halfway through season one I am not impressed.
To be fair, the show does not take itself too seriously. Most of the time. Even with some legit character obstacles and decent casting shows like this often take a season or two to find it’s stride. The problem is those shows are usually on TNT or USA where they are left alone. Big networks generally give the “boot” (ha! Watch an episode) to shows that don’t grab a big audience fast.
The premise is simple enough. It follows three rookies that are going through police training in L.A. The beautiful back drop sets the scene for more fun than action or drama, and even after the first half of the season you can see it’s trying to capitalize on the fun. The three main characters all boast different sexes and different demographics. Fillion is our centerpiece. He’s a 40 something guy going through a mid-life crisis thinking this is what will be the answer to all his failures in life. You buy it, because Fillion sells it. He has great chemistry with his T.O. and pretty much everyone he comes into contact with. The other characters are likable if not one dimensional, but you want to get to know them better.
The problem is it bounces back to a little too serious too often from silly. Not funny, not tongue in cheek. Just silly. And then it gets heavy. It’s just padded writing that has no soul. It attempts to capitalize on really dramatic events without enough character development to buy any of it.
Should I Stay or Should I Go Now?
I will keep watching “The Rookie” for now because overall it is entertaining, but it’s identity is muddled at best and without Nathan Fillion wouldn’t be worth continuing even though I’ve grown to like some of the other characters. It also qualifies as acceptable for a family show though albeit would only appeal to older kids. At the end of the day I’d rather be spending my precious free time re-watching episodes of Burn Notice or Leverage.