Saturday, September 14, 2013

2013 Pilot Preview: "Ironside"

“I’m not very good at implying. So usually I go straight to accusing.”
- Robert Ironside

If you followed the blog last year, you know we did quite a few pilot previews. Unfortunately, there just haven’t been many that interested us or were actually available. But seeing as I am the crime drama/procedural guru here at More TV, Please! I decided I’d take a stab at one of NBC’s new dramas (it premieres October 2nd at 10pm).

So as far as I can tell, this show is going to be pretty much like any other procedural with one obvious tweak. The lead character, Robert Ironside, is wheelchair-bound. When first we meet Sergeant Ironside, he’s shaking down a guy in the middle of the night with one of his other cops. They’re looking for a kidnapped girl and they find her thanks to Bob’s unconventional methods. I wanted to laugh as Bob’s cohort was Mirandizing the bad guy from outside the car but the lawyer in me just cried because that’s so completely unethical. Anyway, nest morning, Bob gets called to another crime scene of an apparent suicide. We get a very quick insight into how he became wheelchair bound, including a rooftop flashback to him and another cop dangling a suspect off a roof. That just screams dirty cop to me and it doesn’t make me like this character much at all.

He seems very impatient to me in the way he addresses both his team (made up of Ed, Virgil, Teddy and Holly) and witnesses. He figures out after a brief discussion with the victim’s boss (and possible lover) that the case is a homicide. So he sends Virgil and Teddy to toss her place while he goes off to coach hockey. I do kind of like Virgil (he’s played by the same actor who at present is holding Detective Benson hostage on Law & Order: SVU). He’s kind of amusing, albeit a bit destructive in how he handles other people’s property. And apparently Holly has seedy-underbelly connections. She takes one of the pictures the guys found at the dead womans’ apartment to a guy who tells they should be looking into Albanian sex parties.

Bob is rather controlling when it comes to who runs investigations. He doesn’t seem to like it when his team questions him. But it seems at least he knows how to not be so aggressive with grieving family members. The woman’s sister doesn’t think it was suicide. She also shares that her sister didn’t much like her job or her boss. Bob and Holly pay a visit to the dead woman’s trainer and they learn she had a boyfriend that was causing her grief, too. The dynamic duo heads over and finds the guy with a knife in his chest. Guess they won’t be questioning that witness. From just the little bit I’ve seen I think I’d rather watch a show with just Holly, Virgil and Teddy. They aren’t so hard and abrasive. Maybe it’s to due with Bob’s past trauma that led to him being disabled. But really, not all disabled people are angry at the world.

It would appear Sergeant Ironside has the free reign of how to handle investigations because once he learns that the dead was having his girlfriend launder drug money through her investment firm, he heads home and starts to get hot and heavy with a woman (who is not his wife from a flashback we saw which I’m thinking leads to us seeing him get shot). His fun time with the sexy brunette is interrupted when he gets called down to the drunk tank to pick up his former partner who falling apart at the seams after what happened.

The case continues to move along as Ironside and Teddy go off to accuse the dead woman’s boss of being in on the money laundering and sex parties while Virgil and Holly go off to find the dead guy’s cousin. They bring him in for questioning but he lawyer’s up. Meanwhile, the dead woman’s sister denies having heard of the dead guy or his cousin and asks if she’s going to get justice for her sister. I have to give the writers some credit for the case of the week. It’s kind of interesting and some of the secondary characters show promise but I still can’t get behind liking the lead character. It’s something I felt in watching Graceland and I’m just not sure how it’s going to stack up against its competition (namely CSI). I mean, I think it will probably be a decent pair up with SVU given the similar general premise but successful shows, especially ensemble type dramas, need to have characters you can identify with and empathize with. I still just can’t get over how nasty this guy used to be.

Ironside heads home to do a workout and we finally see how he ends up in the chair. His partner is just really twitchy, spooks the guy they’re after and in the ensuing chase, Bob gets shot. But apparently his mini-freak out at the memory gives him a new clarity and he figures some things out and gets the team to work some other stuff out. They figure out that the dead woman’ met the dead guy at one of the sex parties and convinced him ot invest his drug money. When he loses half, he panics. They think she found him dead. They don’t get much further than that because the dead woman’s sister has taken her boss hostage at gunpoint. Something tells me Ironside is going to be the one to talk her down. And it turns out I’m only partially right. He tries to talk her down but she won’t listen. She refuses to believe her sitser willing would have attended the parties and slept with drug dealers. Ironside orders Holly to shoot the boss in the leg. Yeah, really not a legal thing to do but he just doesn’t seem to be all that concerned. I think if the writers make him a little less careless with the law, he might be more likeable. He tries to make a deal with the boss but it doesn’t really go so well. But, as it turns, out, the dead guy’s cousin killed him and then the woman actually did commit suicide. Ironside knew that the whole time, he just wanted to find out why she jumped and to get the people who drove her to it. I will say that the camera work on the show is kind of interesting. They occasionally switch to a point of view more on the level with Ironside. It can be kind of jarring at times but I think it gives a different perspective.

Things wrap up with Ironside stopping by an AA meeting where his former partner finally gets up and speaks. I will give the show major kudos for using a song from Once (and one that was not Falling Slowly). That made me quite happy. And once he’s seen that his former partner is getting the help he needs, he rolls on home to hook up with the sexy brunette.

I think the show has a chance of being a moderate success. I think with a little tweaking of character personalities, it could be a stronger ensemble. If I didn’t already have 5 shows on Wednesdays, I’d consider watching this. But I may catch it on occasion or watch it on Demand when I’ve got a few light weeks.

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