Tuesday, January 29, 2019

TV Tuesday: The Rookie

We don't watch a lot of police dramas, but when we saw that Nathan Fillion was going to be in a new one called The Rookie this fall, we gave it a try. We loved Fillion in Castle - and of course, also in Firefly - and we weren't disappointed in his latest role. The Rookie is a cop show, yes, but with plenty of drama and humor as well as action.

Fillion plays John Nolan, a rookie cop who is 40 years old. His life recently fell apart when he and his longtime wife divorced after their son went to college, and John decided to do something completely different from the construction work he'd done all his career. He moved to LA, graduated from the Police Academy, and is now an official rookie (or "boot" as the experienced cops call them) with the LAPD. His fellow rookies are Lucy Chen, played by Melissa O'Neil (whom we enjoyed in Dark Matter), and Jackson West, played by Titus Makin, Jr, whose father is in charge of Internal Affairs. In each episode, each rookie is teamed up with an experienced officer, and the two of them go out on patrol and encounter a wide variety of situations, from motor vehicle violations to domestic situations to gun-filled drug deals. Sergeant Wade Grey, played by Richard T. Jones, oversees the patrol officers, and Captain Zoe Anderson, played by Mercedes Mason, is in charge of the whole department. No one else knows it (yet), but John and Lucy have been seeing each other.

This is not your typical gritty police drama. Though the officers often run into challenging situations and danger, there is a lightness and sense of humor that runs throughout the show and makes it a whole lot of fun. That's not to say it doesn't sometimes delve into serious issues - like one officer's wife who used to be in Vice and is now a drug addict on the streets or when John is involved in the shooting of a civilian - but it always tackles these difficult topics with warmth and humanity. If you've seen Fillion in anything else, you know he plays the goofy, wise-cracking guy often (and well), and you see some of that here, too, though with a serious desire to become a good cop and a layer of sensitivity underneath, especially when it comes to Lucy or his son. There are plenty of jokes about the 40-year old rookie, but it's not a one-joke show - there is gentle humor woven throughout. The combination of police action, interpersonal drama, and humor is just right, and we have been loving the show since its premier in the fall. In fact, our 24-year old son was home sick last week and looking for something to watch, so I suggested The Rookie, and he binged all of the episodes!

The Rookie is currently airing on ABC at 10 pm Eastern time, and I know that all 11 of its episodes so far, back to episode 1 (#12 airs tonight) are available On Demand because my son just watched them all last week! They are all also available for free on the ABC website. You can also purchase The Rookie on Amazon for $1.99 an episode or $34.99 for the first season (looks like it will be 20 episodes total).

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