Ambassadors episode 2 review

The Unusuals review | Those rascals went and cancelled it

Published by jamdog on 29th April, 2009.


The Unusuals review

The Unusuals

ABC

 

I often wondered what happened to McManus from Oz, Emerald City’s idiot liberal mastermind who facilitated more rapes than Rohypnol. Terry Kinney hasn’t exactly been active on TV since the demise of Oz in 2003 so it’s pleasing to see him turning up as Sergeant Harvey Brown in The Unusuals, ABC‘s comedy drama police procedural.  The Unusuals plants us in the middle of NYPD Homicide Unit.  Murder is a funny thing so that’s why it’s a comedy.  But it’s also about the relationships between the cops. That’s why it’s a drama.  Relationships will kill you.

“The Unusuals plants us in the middle of NYPD Homicide Unit. Murder is a funny thing so that’s why it’s a comedy. But it’s also about the relationships between the cops. That’s why it’s a drama. Relationships will kill you.”

Murder will kill you too, of course.  Ask Detective Burt Kowalski.  He got all murdered in the city of New York. He may have been a bit crooked.  He probably had it coming.  When Detective Casey Shraeger (Amber Tamblyn) is drafted in from Vice to replace Kowalski she finds his partner Detective Jason Walsh (Jeremy Renner) disposing of some incriminating evidence from Kowalski’s locker.  Everyone has a secret on The Unusuals.  Casey’s is that she’s this spectacularly rich girl who chooses to slum it on the thin blue line mainly to confound the expectations of her family who are an ongoing pain in the tits for the girl.

“Detective Leo Banks (Harold Perrineau who you may remember as Augustus from Oz, one of the few inmates who McManus didn’t get raped).”

And Detective Eric Delahoy’s (Adam Goldberg who cherishes his notice in Aerial Telly’s 2 Days In Paris review to this day) secret is he has some horrible brain tumour which he seems in denial about.  His partner Detective Leo Banks (Harold Perrineau who you may remember as Augustus from Oz, one of the few inmates who McManus didn’t get raped.  He’s Michael in Lost, too) is convinced he will die this year and wears a bulletproof vest wherever he goes.  That’s what appearing in Lost does for you.

“Mixing comedy and drama is dangerous alchemy. Get the balance wrong and you neutralise the power of both or worse, have the whole thing blow up in your face. But for now it’s doing a good job of being compelling, funny and quirky.”

But secrets?  We got ’em.  Detective Henry Cole (Joshua Close) is a born-again Christian with a criminal past he hides from his colleagues. Detective Allison Beaumont (Monique Gabriela Curnen) is fucking Walsh and in hock to moneylenders. And Harvey Brown drafted in Schraeger specifically to help root out corruption in the precinct. The only person without a secret so far is Detective Eddie Alvarez (Kai Lennox), the comedy careerist douchebag who refers to himself in the third person.  Imagine doing that.

Aerial Telly likes The Unusuals.  The comedy coupling of Cole and Delahoy works very well, Alvarez is an excellent twat, Shraeger is a sympathetic Everywoman and Walsh is a pretty cool cop.  ABC see this as a modern-day M*A*S*H and while that’s a lofty ambition you can see where they’re coming from.  Mixing comedy and drama is dangerous alchemy.  Get the balance wrong and you neutralise the power of both or worse, have the whole thing blow up in your face.  But for now it’s doing a good job of being compelling, funny and quirky. ABC have made an art form of underachievement but this is a step in the right direction. Better this than fucking Eli Stone.

The best thing about it: Cole and Delahoy.

The worst thing about it: Doesn’t seem a lot of point to Beaumont at the moment.

The verdict on The Unusuals: One of those shows that destined to be a one season wonder despite polite critical applause.

Marks out of 10: 7.5

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Tags: Categories: American comedy American drama

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