Review of "Backstrom" on FOX From The TV MegaSite

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"Backstrom" review by Suzanne 1/7/15
Premieres Thursday January 22 on FOX 9/8c

There are a lot of things on this show that normally I despise, yet works. It's a comedy and drama, both together. It's probably more toward the comedy side. It's not hilarious, but sometimes it really makes me laugh.  The "hero" of the show is rude and obnoxious, usually very unlikable, and self-destructive, and he doesn't follow the rules, abusing the power of his authority. He hates everyone, but he frequently makes sexist and racist remarks. The people he works with all have some kind of quirky characteristics. The show itself is your usual cop drama, mainly enlivened by the comedy or how the characters work together. Also, sometimes the show tries to tug at your heart strings, which usually I don't like in a comedy.

The show's main character, Everett Backstrom (Rainn Wilson), reminds me a little bit of Hugh Laurie's Greg House, or Greg Kinnear's character in "Rake", or Vincent D'Onofrio's Goren in "Law & Order: Criminal Intent".  Parts of the show remind me a little of "Brooklyn Nine-Nine", but it's a much better show than that one.

He's overweight and unhealthy, and he drinks and smokes too much. He's very good at figuring out the truth in homicides (he's almost like a "murder whisperer), but otherwise he's terrible at his job. He's very driven, yet he seems kind of pathetic and vulnerable at other times. This is his last chance to save his career, and maybe his life. The other law enforcement that he works with all have their own problems. The best stand-out of the bunch, Dennis Haysbert, is a wonderful character (a preacher in his spare time). I love that voice. Even though I've seen him on other shows, on this one I keep expecting him to tell us about AllState Insurance.  Kristoffer Polaha (formerly seen on "Ringer" and other shows) is also awesome as Niedermeyer. Thomas Dekker is great as a young gay fence who lives with Backstrom (and may or may not be his son).

I watched the first 4 episodes on FOX's press site. They were all very good. The third one I thought was a little weaker than the others, but just a little. The fourth one had some very interesting revelations.  I can't wait to see more! I hope it does better than so many other FOX dramas I've enjoyed that didn't last very long.

More information about the show on our forum!

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