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Each episode of this series, set in present day Los Angeles, examines one crime from many different viewpoints - uniformed cops, detectives, witnesses, the media, the fire department and rescue squad, even the criminals themselves. Written by
The episode "Insured by Smith and Wesson" features Joe Penny as a former actor on a fictional TV series of that name. The clips shown from that fictional series are actually from Penny's old show Riptide (1984). See more »
Episode by episode it's good but is occasionally forced and doesn't quite hang together as a series
In Los Angeles stories happen all the time. Every person involved will see it from a different angle have different information and differing perspectives in each case. Boomtown takes a different crime each week and follows the investigation as it involves detectives Joel and Fearless, street cops Ray and Tom, the DA David McNorris, medic Theresa, journalist Andrea, the victims and the perps.
This came to the UK on channel 5 in a wave of generally strong US exports. 5 grouped it with the new CSI on a Tuesday night this followed the first series of The Shield and the opening of CSI: Miami. I watched it as it looked like an enjoyable cop series. I'm nearly at the end of series 1 of Boomtown and have enjoyed it although it hasn't gripped me in the way that other cop shows such as Homicide :LOTS, NYPD Blue (the Caruso years) and even The Shield have. I think the reason for this is that, although each episode is good, it tends to focus on that 45 minutes rather than a longer series view. There has been some character development but not to the extent that I feel like I know the characters in the way I did with Homicide. Instead it is more nuggets of information that are given out occasionally rather than characters.
However each episode works well most are interesting, tense or exciting. The only downside is that it has to fit into this multi-perspective mould every week and sometimes the stories are forced into this form. Mostly the stories fit nicely into the structure and are complimented by it but the odd episode just felt that it could have worked better with a linear line without all the cutting around. This is the main reason that I have come back to it after a few weeks where Sopranos clashed with it in the schedules (and you KNOW who wins that fight!), because I know that each episode will work well by it self but I need more to make me really stick with it as a series and not just dip in and out.
The actors are good although some have meatier characters than others. Wahlberg has easily the best character as he is the one who has had the most development and subplots that run through episodes. Williamson is surprisingly good despite a quite superficial character but his Rambo antics in one episode were a bit too much. McDonough as McNorris is good and balances the requirements of the law and the cops well. Garbiras plays his one-time mistress but her character has now become defunct floating round the edge of the show with the plot really obviously looking for ways to crowbar her in. Basarba and Gedrick are good but neither have really come on as characters with us learning that Ray may be a dirty cop, but not much more than that.
Overall this is not a classic cop show. It has a good gimmick that it uses quite well most of the time and also manages to avoid feeling gimmicky. If you're looking for a series that you can get into the characters then this is not for you The Shield did it quite well recently. But as a series that can be easily dipped into for one-off enjoyable episodes then this works pretty well.
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