Saturday, July 10, 2010

Review - The Bridge Season 1 Episode 1/2 Red Door/Paint it Black

The first hour and a half, I was thinking The Bridge was The Wire-lite--a Canadian counterpart with worse acting, worse dialogue, worse directing, but with a somewhat similar premise of corruption infesting the body politic, sans the criminal drug side. I was liking it a lot more than the other new shows the broadcast networks were putting out.

Then, the show went back to the present, when Frank Leo (Aaron Douglas) is already union boss and has tons of support. Just like that, a mountain of potential is sucked out and we're left with a less compelling show.

In my mind, the way the pilot was being paced, I thought Frank would make the decision to run for union president at the end of the episode, and the entire first season would chronicle the election as he battles adversaries from every corner. Instead, that is resolved instantly.

Far too quickly, Frank rises to the top, overcoming every obstacle in a few brief scenes. The struggles he faces--whether from Internal Affairs, the top brass, or even those close to him--are touched on one or two times before he is unanimously elected. Now, he is in a far more advantageous position than before.

What I enjoyed most about the middle section was how enemies were around him, and wasn't much he could do. As soon as the other cops rally around him, he was an aura of invulnerability. When the police, en masse, huddles around an individual, it's hard to feel anything about this guy.

Aaron Douglas, as he did in Battlestar Galactica, portrays the everyday working man who wants to make a difference with believability and passion. The other characters, however, aren't developed and are basically props for Frank to use--clearly not the intent, since Frank is working to help them.

Mostly, this review dealt with my disappointment in how far the show could have gone versus where the writers took it. Clearly, they weren't as ambitious or skilled as I hoped. Aside from that, the episode had plenty of great scenes and a uneasy tension riding behind it, dispelled only by the final act of the episode.

Score: 8.7/10
Related Posts with Thumbnails