TV Show Reviews
Morals" review by Suzanne
TNT Tuesdays at 10/9
This is a really well made drama. The characters and
actors are outstanding. I watched 3 episodes and I really
did enjoy it, for the most part. It stars Edward Burns as
Terry Muldoon, a corrupt cop in 1960's New York. He and the
other cops in his division enforce the laws about morals,
such as prostitution, drugs, gambling and more.
They're all on the take, though, and take many bribes.
One of the reasons, to be fair, is that they realize that a
lot of these laws are stupid, so they don't want to really
enforce them too strongly. They know that vices are
something that are hard to get rid of (remember, this is
only 30 years after Prohibition, so they know well, from
their own recent history, that it didn't work).
Terry comes from a family of cops, and his cousin Sean
(Austin Stowell) is also a cop. However, Sean's dad (Timothy
Hutton, in a great but short role) is a wife beater and
works for the mob. When he gets murdered, they have to try
to solve the crime. This leads them to the mobsters, headed
by crime boss Joe Patton (Brian Dennehy). Patton's
son, Rusty (Neal McDonough) is a violent thug who wants to
take over the business.
Rounding out the cast are Terry's partner, Charlie
Bullman (Michael Rappaport); their boss, Captain Johanson
(Robert Knepper); the veteran cop Lt. King (Ruben
Santiago-Hudson); new detective Jimmy (Brian Wiles); and
Jimmy's partner, Vince (Wass Stevens). However, it's a
really large cast and we get to know many others as well. It
remains to be seen in future episodes, who lives and dies,
and who becomes more important in the story. We see a lot of
the first episodes through Jimmy's eyes, which is one of
those convenient plot devices TV uses to tell the viewers
who's who and what's what. He doesn't seem like he'll be the
focus of the series, though.
Another good thing about the show is how they get the
details right about the period, much like "Mad Men."
It looks very accurate to me with regards to the clothing,
buildings, cars, et al. Not that I'm an expert -- I was a
child back then, and I lived in San Diego! But I think "Mad
Men" and other shows like it have set the bar for other
period dramas. We expect them to have a certain amount
of accuracy now.
The only thing I don't like about the show is that there
don't seem to be any real good guys. Everyone is corrupt or
evil. The cops are all bad and corrupt, and the mobsters are
worse. I really like to watch shows with heroes, not
villains. Heroes don't have to be perfect, but I don't like
it when they cross the line, especially police. There are
enough corrupt police in real life. I don't want to watch
them on TV.
I would say that Terry and Sean are supposed to be the
"heroes" of the show, since most of it focuses on them and
how they deal with everyone, including their families. It
will be interesting to see if they stay as corrupt as they
are now or have to become more honest or not.
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