Mixed reviews for Rainn Wilson's new drama.
Remember yesterday when we previewed Rainn Wilson's new cop-drama Backstrom? Well, now that it's premiered, the big-hitting critics have had their say, and, well, there's good and bad. Originally developed for CBS but now on Fox, the show is based on the book series for Leif G.W Persson and focuses on the alcoholic Portland detective Everett Backstrom (Wilson) and the Serious Crimes Unit.
Rainn Wilson kind of looks like a detective, no?
This is not particularly familiar territory for Wilson, best known for his comedic turn in The Office.
"I literally got a call from my agents as I was finishing the last three or four days of shooting on 'The Office,' our 200th episode over nine or 10 seasons. And they said, 'We really want you to read this TV script,' and I almost fired them on the spot," Wilson told the Fresno Bee about landing the role on Backstrom. "I'm like, 'Are you crazy?' But they implored me, 'Just read the script. This character is really special.' And I did. It really hooked me in."
It seems Wilson's inclination to the character was justified and the majority of the critics bought into his portrayal.
"What you'll see is the best broadcast TV cop drama of the season, with a dirty-to-the-touch sleuth played to the hilt by an actor who's very much up for this," wrote Ed Bark of Uncle Barky.
"There are some interesting ideas, like calling out Gen-Xers for romanticizing pessimism, and several well-cast, offbeat supporting characters, but Backstrom needs to find a more cohesive voice and stronger case-of-the-week plots if it wants to keep walking the prime-time beat," said Jeff Jenson of Entertainment Weekly.
"Shepherded along by "Bones'" Hart Hanson, this is the sort of meat-and-potatoes drama that doesn't feel distinctive enough to do much more than tread water on Fox, even with "American Idol's" kick-start," wrote Brian Lowry of Variety who was generally critical of the show.
"This is one of those shows where one starts to feel bad for the ensemble, as they trudge through bad scripts, doing all they can to elevate it but sinking into the generic quicksand as Wilson over-acts his way into cancellation," said Brian Tallerico of RogerEbert.com.
Backstrom runs for an initial 13-episoes on Fox. Who's betting it doesn't make it?
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