Wednesday, November 28, 2007

TV EYE--Zen Detective

Life (NBC ,Wednesdays, 10:00 PM) may be the most bracing and uncontaminated new television show this year, and it’s certainly among the least showy and hyped new shows. Brit Damien Lewis goes American as Charlie Crews, an L.A. police detective who did a decade plus stretch for a crime he didn’t commit, gets exonerated and handed a tidy settlement but still chooses to get reinstated back to the force much to the consternation of those around him. Detective Crews is an invigorating creation-a Zen copper going through the usual crime scene paces with a whacked-out sense of calm, all the while peppering anyone nearby with a torrent of philosophical inquiries both large and small. He has a no-nonsense partner (the absolutely lovely Sarah Shahi), an ex-cellmate/financial advisor (Adam Arkin), and a crusty female captain (Deadwood’s Robin Weigert) to aid and abet him as he solves the crime of the week and secretly probes the many conspiracy theories surround his frame-up. It’s a smooth and easy procedural, smarter and hipper than it initially appears to be, and a cop show that’s witty and highly self-contained, a true breath of fresh air. I wouldn’t have put any money down on this, but against the odds the show has been picked up for further episodes by NBC.

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