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"Yeah, I killed a city one time. Funny story."
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June 05 2005

A Blogger's Review of "The Inside". Very positive. I can't wait till Wednesday.

"Let's put the 'plain' back in 'plainclothes,' it's not dinner theater." Magnificent! Looking forward to this so much.
It's cool that the person enjoyed "The Inside" but is it just me or is "The Shield" REALLY out of place in that list?
I would have to agree with you, Odysseus: The Shield is brilliant! It's not like other cop shows; it's not even a procedural.

I've never watched any of the CSI's or L&O's, or Homocide, or NYPD Blue, but I do love The Shield, I really liked Line of Fire, I enjoyed Profiler, and I'm extremely excited for The Inside.
"I'm not a fan of procedural or crime shows. Ive enjoyed the occasional Law & Order and Without a Trace, but have never seen, or had any interest in seeing, any episodes of CSI. Or NYPD Blue, or Homicide, or The Shield, for that matter."

The blog writer, Ras, didn't say that s/he thought those shows were bad, just that they had no interest in them. So there's not really any point in rushing to the defense of any of them, since they're not really being attacked. But I know how it is, I'm always praising The Shield and being all "no really, it's a cop show for people like me who don't like cop shows!...mostly 'cause it's a character drama first and foremost".

It is a bit of a flaw in their writing to say that they're not a fan of procedurals/crime shows without listing those series that inspired them to feel that way (I mean why go on to mention shows you haven't seen in addition to listing ones you occasionally enjoy? That doesn't support your statement). I can say that I didn't like what I've seen of the CSIs and that I genuinely hate CSI: Miami because I've seen a couple episodes of all of them (well, four or five of Miami--it was that season when we had Sean Maher, Adam Baldwin, and Ben Browder guest-spotting). And because I think David Caruso just might be the most unengaging lead I've ever seen.

Glad to hear more enthusiasm for The Inside. I'm jealous of those who have the advantage of being able to preview three episodes in a row in advance. I rarely feel that the pilot alone is enough to judge a 1-hour drama on.

More on procedurals/crime dramas...

I'm tempted to check out NYPD Blue because of David Milch's excellent Deadwood, but twelve seasons is insanely intimidating. It took me years to finally get into Babylon 5 after feeling determined to check it out, and that one's only five seasons and some TV-movies. For such a long-running and popular series, it's kinda odd to me that I never caught more than one scene of NYPD Blue (a teaser involving a sex scene with Mark-Paul Gosselaar, a cute blonde, and food play involving honey).

I'm pretty tempted by Homicide as well because of creator/writer Tom Fontana (Oz). It looks like less of a project to get through than NYPB Blue 'cause the first couple seasons are 9 and 4-episode mini-series and it's seven seasons total.

I hear a lot of positives about Without a Trace, but not enough that I'll check it out any time soon. When it first premiered three years ago, I thought "Do we really need another cop drama with all the ones already on?" It was one of those new shows you figured was a clone and either wouldn't last more than a season or would go on to keep a stable audience without really winning any accolades (sorta like Third Watch or Cold Case--they are, or were, network staples, and just sorta survive on their decent ratings and comparitively low-budget costs).
Homicide is great, Kris. I'm not a fan of police procedurals either, though I did dabble in a few seasons of L&O a few years back before I got tired of the ever unchanging formula. But Homicide was a unique beast in that it was intensely realistic -- both visually (it was shot in Baltimore, on location, and one of the lead female characters pretty much wore as much make-up as the men, because she was a no-nonsense detective and wouldn't wear make-up) and dramatically. I used to love it when it aired on NBC, and unlike many other cop shows, got mediocre ratings and was constantly in danger of being cancelled. What kept it on the air: extraordinary critical acclaim and a network unwilling to kill a show with that kind of aura.

The show had an amazing lead in Andre Braugher, who gives one of those transfixing lead performances that can anchor even a bad/mediocre TV show -- only the show was as good as his performance. The cast was uniformly strong and the show wasn't so much about catching the bad guy as the nature of the work: endless drug murders, whacked out people doing rageful things, normal people who turn murderous because the moon is blue. The real point of police work wasn't so much figuring out whodunnit as much as building the case to nail 'em in court, and how this seamy professional life affected the people who worked it. If you like Oz, you'll love Homicide because to me, Oz is very much the lesser show. I like the actors in Oz and the realness of the setting, but the drama is almost comically melodramatic, and the writing is weak. Homicide had great writing (many on the staff had been playwrights), a great cast, well-rounded characters, tragedy, comedy, a decent run. I would probably list it as one of my all-time favorite shows.

I've been meaning to check out The Wire because the it was created by David Simon, who had written the book Homicide was based on, and was involved in creating it for TV.

and back on topic, I really am interested in watching The Inside--I just can't believe that the premiere episode is this week.
*Thinks about cop shows* Barney Miller? Hmmmm that was good. The Bill? Used to be good. Touching Evil? The original UK version? Oh yeah. Best police type show ever apart from Cracker.
I never doubted the show would get good reviews and actually be good, because of the people involved. I'm just praying it lasts more then 9 episodes, and hopefully a season at least. So viewers in USA, watch and watch, and save good tv.

I don't wanna see this coming out on a dvd boxset with 9 episodes, but I expect the worse for the fox network to do this to good shows, hope they give it a chance.

[ edited by SeanValen on 2005-06-05 14:29 ]

[ edited by SeanValen on 2005-06-05 14:30 ]
When does The Inside premiere?
Wednesday at 9 pm.

Does anyone else here watch FX? I've been seeing alot of Inside promos during The Shield.

[ edited by eddy on 2005-06-05 16:45 ]
I've been meaning to check out The Wire because the it was created by David Simon

You should definitely check out the Wire if you get a chance, dottikin (you can get the first two seasons on DVD through netflix). It's one of the best shows I've ever seen (and I, as well, am generally not a fan of cop shows). In fact, if I'm ever really honest i admit that it's probably a *better* show, technically, than BtVS and Angel more consistent, better acting, fabulous plot and screenplay. I just never fell totally in love with it the way I did the Whedonverse. Of course, totally different worlds, so it's probably not even worth the comparison. But i think it's one of the best, if not the best, TV shows I've ever seen.

And, so as to be on topic - add me to the list of those excited to see the Inside!
I couldn't agree more with acp. The Wire is phenomenal - truly outstanding. I say that as a non-fan of police shows.
Best police type show ever apart from Cracker.

Hubby turned me on to Cracker last year and I LOVED it! But WTF is up with you guys only doing like 5 or 6 episodes per season?!?!?

BTW, I think I'm the only American who ever watched that show. No one here ever gets my Panhandle jokes...'cept hubby...
Ah, thanks Simon, good to hear someone point out again how great a crime show 'Cracker' was. Robbie Coltrane was superb as Fitz, but as wifey pointed out, yanks don't know it. (I hear there was a very bad, very short-lived american version of it)

The closest any american show has come so far that I've seen to creating a character comparable to Fitz (what Warren Ellis has called the 'clever scumbag' type, hehe) is Greg House in 'House MD'. Does make it ironic that Hugh Laurie is a brit, hehe.

Never saw 'The Wire', but heard good things about it. As for 'The Inside', I'm curious and will definitely tune in this wednesday, but I really wonder if there's going to be anything in there that I haven't arlready seen in 'Silence of the Lambs' and 'Millennium'. (I'd say 'Profiler' too, but that already ripped off both of those.) And if there isn't, I doubt that 'Buffy-ing' things up with a pretty young blonde coed is going to keep me interested.

But I'm hopeful. Just slightly less than I was before 'Point Pleasant'. It proved that great Buffy/Angel Alums are not always a guarantee for a new great show.
A plea for genre-tolerance....It's no more fair to say you don't like detective shows because a bunch of mediocre ones are currently on the air than to say that must dislike most shows about young women with magic powers because you don't like "Charmed" or shows about vampire detectives because you didn't love "Forever Knight."

Anyhow, sincer we're mentioning our favorite TV cops, I'll add my personal shout-outs for "Prime Suspect" as well as both "Homicide" and "Cracker" (a possible model, as per Joss, for "Ripper").

Parenthetically re: Homicide, I should say that I don't really agree with Simon that Andre Braugher was the lead actor on "Homicide". I think what happened was that his performance, and the character written for him, was so incredibly dynamic and intelligent that the show tended to sort of coalesce around him at times, but I don't think he was ever intended to be the lead in the usual sense. However, I would love to see Tom Fontana, David Simon or whomever do a series of Frank Pembleton TV movies for HBO or whomever.

[ edited by bobster on 2005-06-05 23:44 ]
Just wanted to chime in with shout outs for The Shield and Cracker as well, and on the Cracker note I am also American. So there are like 10 of us who've seen it :P Reminds me I need to finish watching Ultraviolet one of these days. Oops :P
Why do people keep comparing Marti Noxon to Tim Minear? This will be Tim's 4th show as a executive producer while Marti was only on her 2nd. Tim has more than already proven himself as a great show runner.
I should fess up that I too, am an American Cracker-head...though one with more than a trace of Anglophilia...
Ah, thanks Simon, good to hear someone point out again how great a crime show 'Cracker' was. Robbie Coltrane was superb as Fitz, but as wifey pointed out, yanks don't know it. (I hear there was a very bad, very short-lived american version of it)

Yeah Cracker used to be one of my favourite shows, I agree with Rogue S, it is a shame that we only do 6 episode seasons because I would definitely have liked more Fitz. Was also probably the 1st thing I saw Christopher Eccleston (Doctor Who) in. The episode where he was chilling and brilliant. (Just incase someone hasn't seen that episode yet and intends to, it needs not to be spoiled)
I also had the misfortune to catch the American remake late at night a few years ago (it was called Fitz over here, to avoid confusion) and it wasn't good, though I do seem to remember Robbie Coltrane guest starring. Can't find anything in his imdb entry however so maybe I imagined it?
Another American here who loved Cracker. I think it is head and shoulders above the rest of the best American and British police/crime shows (Homicide, The Wire, Prime Suspect) although those other shows are great as well.

And though there weren't that many episodes, they were quite long, often 2 hours. Think of it as a whole lot of full length movies, and then it seems like quite a bit.

And Paul_Rocks, that episode "To Be a Somebody" was truly inspired, one of the greatest television drama episodes ever. I remember the short-lived American version (with the late Robert Pastorelli), and I remember it being called Cracker, too.
Parenthetically re: Homicide, I should say that I don't really agree with Simon that Andre Braugher was the lead actor on "Homicide". I think what happened was that his performance, and the character written for him, was so incredibly dynamic and intelligent that the show tended to sort of coalesce around him at times

That was me, and even as I was writing it, I was thinking that Andre Braugher wasn't actually the lead, it was an ensemble show, but he just shone so often and so brightly (especially his interrogation scenes!) that he was the lead by virtue of charisma and compelling storylines.

And for all the people loving on Cracker, the Brit version, I want to check it out myself now. Is it out on DVD? My taste in police dramas run to bare and realistic (Prime Suspect, Homicide) with an edge of black humor if possible.
Dottikin, you can probably find it on Ebay too, but it's over at Amazon also. There are 3 seasons total, if I recall correctly, which is about 15 episodes! (shakes fist at Brit tv execs) I highly recommend it, and I'm so surprised(and happy!) to see other Americans who liked it too!! :)
My taste in police dramas run to bare and realistic (Prime Suspect, Homicide) with an edge of black humor if possible.


Then Cracker should be right up your street, it's pretty gritty and dark in places but there's a nice dose of black humour running through it. I'm actually thinking of investing in the dvds since I've not seen any of the episodes since they aired. Damn that's 9 years since I've seen any Cracker - crazy time!

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