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The Unusuals caught my eye last night, and I was desperate for some decent TV fare (all I currently watch is The Office and Intervention, well, okayand The Millionaire Matchmaker, but I am just plain humiliated to admit that). I loved it immediately and then read the bad reviews after a search on the web. I was dumbfounded! Maybe the original media reviews were for the premiere episode, and I have seen only the last 2 episodes, episodes 3 and 4. This show is funny and smart and sad and real and crazy. My gosh, you've got how many millions of people watching Real Housewives or that hospital show based in Seattle where the impossibly attractive, and thus vapid, characters hang around posing like they are in an MTV video, and The Unusuals gets bad reviews? This show seems to have found the soul that Boomtown was searching for, and it doesn't take itself too seriously, which was Boomtown's downfall. Network TV--give me a reason to tune in, with shows like The Unusuals!
Having watched everything from LAW AND ORDER to NYPD BLUE, I have a
pretty good idea by now how police procedural shows work. You get a
sense of the personalities of the main characters while they solve a
boatload of cases week after week, but since the shows are mostly about
the cases and not about the characters, nuggets of information about
the heroes' quirks, family lives and other intimate details are about
as rare as actually finding a real cherry in a Hostess Cherry Fruit
Pie. And then they're doled out maybe one or two every fifth or sixth
Which is why THE UNUSUALS is so darn refreshing. Like a fighter who actually leads with his chin, this series wears its characters odd qualities on its sleeve. And what gets doled out just like those aforementioned cherries, are bits and pieces of a puzzle underneath all the weirdness: the real secrets these characters are hiding underneath the "WTF" moments.
I never watched a single episode of JOAN OF ARCADIA, but I was immediately intrigued with Amber Tamblyn, who plays Det. Casey Shraeger. What makes her "unusual": she's a trust- fund baby from a VERY wealthy blue-blood background, who has been working in Vice "on the stroll" for two years, when she's plucked off the streets from her hooker gig and teamed up with stoic Det. Jason Walsh, played by Jeremy Renner. (You may remember Renner as the heroic and doomed soldier from 28 WEEKS LATER.) Two of the things that make him "unusual": off-duty, he runs a hole-in-the-wall diner where he cooks and serves dishes you could never imagine yourself wanting to eat, and he has been covering for his corrupt partner, who suddenly ends up looking like a slab of beef in a slaughterhouse. Since said partner was also into hookers, hence his sudden, reluctant partnership with Shraeger.
In an inspired bit of casting, two of the most watchable "unusuals" seem to have the most conventional secrets in any cop show going this far over-the-top: Adam Goldberg (SAVING PRIVATE RYAN) and Harold Perrineau (LOST, OZ) play partnered Detectives Leo Banks and Eric Delahoy, respectively. Banks wears a bulletproof vest both on and off-duty (he's terrified that he will die at age 42), where Delahoy suddenly becomes a suicidal "super-cop", who isn't afraid to do anything that might get him killed (he has a brain tumor and has been given mere months to live, if he doesn't get the operation he's determined to avoid.)
Riding herd on these and several other off-beat personalities constantly clashing in the precinct is Sgt. Harvey Brown (OZ alum Terry Kinney), who has pulled Tamblyn's seemingly squeaky-clean character in for a very specific reason: to help him clean house. Not surprisingly enough, there are several cops in their shop who are on the take and worse, and he wants to expose and take them down before his superiors are motivated to do it for him. "Nothing is what it looks like," he warns her - or something to that effect.
If the show has any problems, which are definitely not with the strong ensemble cast, it's some of the cases piled on top of everything else to heighten the weirdness. No explanation is given as to why a perp is brought in wearing a hot dog suit, or why their caseloads include everything from a serial killer of neighborhood cats, to a dangerous gang that goes on a rampage which includes virtually every male member of the family, down to the youngest brother who is an honor student in high school (so why weren't the aunts, the mother and the grandmother in on it, too?)
The goings-on with the main characters would be more than enough to keep things interesting without any more embellishments, but in a blasted landscape littered with the corpses of shows long past their prime, being fed on by the fly-blown vultures of reality TV constructs, at least THE UNUSUALS is trying by daring to be...unusual. And it's for that reason I fear that this show will be over before it even gets the chance to find its feet and its potential audience.
But I really hope I'm wrong.
Over the years audiences have been treated to gritty, dark cop shows but ABC's new show "The Unusuals" is something really different. There's a heavy emphasis on dark humor and eccentricities that gave me a few laughs, but there's something going on beneath the surface and only by watching these characters will we ever find out. True, there are the inevitable crimes of the week that viewers will be treated to but it's the well acted characters, witty and funny dialog as well as the "unusual" situations that keep things interesting and I for one was getting into this show. It's already starting to grow on me. Not a show for the kiddies as there are sexual innuendo and some thematic elements, but it's good, real good. Although I like serious shows but every once in a while I'd watch something that's light-hearted, doesn't take itself too seriously, and overall, fun for an entire hour.
I like cop shows, which was one of the reasons I was drawn to this show. This is well-written, well directed, well acted show. It is mainly a drama with humor sprinkled throughout it. It manages to keep the viewer intrigued without the intense violence or graphic nature of most of the other popular crime shows we see today. I love cast of characters they have chosen. I turn each week to watch this show because I truly am drawn back to the storyline and the characters. I certainly don't tune in because ABC has advertised; since they don't. This is good show and it deserves a real chance to succeed. If you haven't watched this show, tune in and give it a chance. It is well worth the time spent watching it.
I kept seeing the word 'Comedy' used to describe this show. And yes,
the initial previews splashes gave you comedic moments-- which would
lead your average viewer to expect a kind of 'Night Court' type cop
But now, I'm watching it. And it's a Drama. . .that has some threads of 'Funny' here and there. And it flips back and forth across the spectrum. There's a little 'Hill Street', a little 'Cops' plus some other shows the rest of you can fish up-- yet it's STILL DIFFERENT.
I'll call this 'Uneasy Drama' with a small side of 'funny' in the little paper cup like you used to get in a diner-- there for just enough Sweet & Sour to make you pucker up.
The Story here is about all these people in a small precinct who WANT to be Cops. But they ALL have secrets-- secrets that should close the Precinct door on them. Something in their past that they cannot let out. And despite all that, they go out and do the Job of keeping the streets safe.
For those of you who know-- the closest 'Uneasy' Drama I can think of was "Firefly". It has that same Mix of Unexpected Serious & Hilarious-- except you don't know which side of the slap you're gonna get at any minute. Yet the Network Marketed that show exactly the SAME WAY. Everyone thought it was gonna be a nonstop comedy-- and when it turned into something else, people didn't know what to do with it.
SO it is with "Unusuals". You could have a situation that starts looking Hilarious-- but then it turns Ugly-- and you feel uncomfortable because you were starting to chuckle. Or you could have the reverse.
For those of you looking for non-stop dark oily adrenaline-hyped emotional thunderstorms-- stick to 'The Shield' and 'Third Watch'
I just happen to like watching a Cop show where the cops are 'human' without the nonstop back-alley knuckle-punches and brutal spinal back-stabs. I like a Cop show that has police who aren't power-crazed motherless thugs who happen to have a Badge.
If you're only looking for Comedy with the canned 'Hahaha" in the background, then no-- this show is not for you.
But if you're looking for some human Cop drama that will entertain you and leave you with a good feeling. . .give this one a try.
The Writing is Good. And the Uncomfortable Spots-- are there on Purpose. Isn't that the point of Drama, anyway?
this show had it going, i saw the first couple of them and it was amusing enough to make you want more and more....great cast And even greater Script, though it started out as your Average Joe detective show , and it turned out to be much much more than just cops doing their work ,it can be predictable but it sure as hell funny , ..after i was watching it on a regular basis i discovered that the show had been canceled...What a waste to a great potential :(, well i hope that CBS or ABC or what ever , could bring it back...it has good ratings, great potential and everything required to make a show of the year, i just don't get it , anyways i say, enjoy the 10episodes to the fullest as u can,you never know when they might release a thing that good ever again!! :D .
I discovered and bought ''The Unusuals'' DVD on Amazon a few days ago (10 October 2012, too late, unfortunately) because I (and my family!) am an absolute fan of Jeremy Renner (really great, charming, extraordinary, irresistible, deep and intense actor) and of Amber Tamblyn (also great, delightful and brilliant actress). I already watched the whole series twice in a week! Definitely, ''The Unusuals'' is one of my favorite series in my life (I am 48)! An outstanding casting (Renner, Tamblyn, Perrineau, Goldberg, Curnen, Lennox, Close, Kinney and so on, the performance of each actor and actress is always so right, perfect, natural); a fantastic mixture of drama, comedy, romanticism; a gripping, original, amusing, touching and dynamic script!!! So, I wonder WHY the series stopped????? It's a crime!!!!! I know that my complaint (sorry for my bad English) is probably just a message in a bottle in the ocean but PLEASE, I BEG YOU, at least make a FILM (with the same casting, of course...)!!! Do not let us down...
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I really liked The Unusuals, I still don't understand why they canceled
the show after the first season (just 10 episodes).
It had a different approach on its own towards the same topic which had been used a million times before , Detectives and Police Precints :)
But unlike The Wire, which I really consider as one of the best ever series in COP category, The Unusuals has a bit more comedy and less though drama like The Wire ( i mean no really ugly reality as we saw on The Wire, which made it a best in class) And its also different from The Shield (which I am still watching), it has a different sense, its easier to watch and put no pressure on the viewers.
Jeremy Renner really played well Welsh together with the rest of the crew..all great acting
This was a very enjoyable show with a great cast of actors & actresses that I love in other things as well. I know we are not lacking for cop shows out there, but this one had its own thing going on. It seemed like every character was very much a unique character with baggage and quirks on the plenty. We had the rich girl, bubble boy, cancer guy, goody good... Someone from every realm. It seems very weird but it complimented the same old cops and bad guy routine nicely. I even liked the random dispatcher with the strange announcements. I am sad to see this didn't have more episodes but it was still worth watching what I did. On a positive note the show did not end with a huge cliffhanger, so I was not to upset with not knowing what was going to happen. It also didn't really have a series or season closure either... Just kind of ran out of episodes.
NYPD Detective Casey Shraeger (Amber Tamblyn) is not so good at being
hooker bait for the vice squad. Luckily she's pulled by Sergeant Harvey
Brown (Terry Kinney) to beef up the depleted 2nd after a detective is
murdered. She's assigned to detective Jason Walsh (Jeremy Renner) who
just lost his partner. He owns a dinner but only opens it when he feels
like it. Detective Leo Banks (Harold Perrineau) and Detective Eric
Delahoy (Adam Goldberg) are another odd couple pairing.
This show tries really hard to be quirky. The voice-over with the dispatcher is just one of many, many weird touches to amp up the wacky. Renner even does a Bourne joke which is so odd looking back at it. This show could have worked if they didn't take 'the unusuals' so literally. It's just not wacky enough to be funny and all the craziness takes away the realism. This is a show that tries way way way too hard to be quirky.
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