Based on the character Evert Bäckström by Swedish author Leif G.W. Persson, police Det. Lt. Everett Backstrom is rude, abrasive, a misanthropic cynic and has no filters on what comes out of his mouth. Appallingly blunt and distressingly unconcerned with trivial things like other people’s feelings, he’s a riot to watch but there’s also method to his madness. Rainn Wilson imbues his character with a host of interesting, if socially frowned upon qualities and is always quick with glib remarks and snarky comments. If you had to drink every time Backstrom says “I’m a “, putting himself inside someone else’s head to try and get a fresh perspective on the case, you’d get very tipsy very quickly, but like Dr. McCoy saying “I’m a doctor, not a [insert random profession here]”, it never seems to get old.
While the prickly Backstrom is vastly entertaining on his own, this is a great ensemble cast of fine actors such as Genevieve Angelson, playing Det. Gravely, who wisely aims for plausible deniability regarding Backstrom’s unorthodox behavior, and Thomas Dekker as Valentine, a disreputable sidekick with very shady connections and a penchant for guyliner. While Backstrom frequently spouts absolutely delicious turns of phrase, he doesn’t get all the good lines. Straight as an arrow Sgt. Peter Niedermayer, whilst giving a long speech of expository content to Backstrom, says “Lt, I can’t help but notice that you’re actually listening to me, which is both heartening and disturbing.” So far, this show has the makings of a truly ripping success, a refreshing comedic take on the police procedural while never being slapstick or relying on limp buffoonery. Massively enjoyable, richly entertaining and delightfully droll, I’m definitely a fan. [Drat, cancelled after just one season!] – BETHANY
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Thomas Dekker as Gregory Valentine.
Kristoffer Polaha as Sergeant Peter Niedermayer.
Genevieve Angelson as Detective Sergeant Nicole Gravely.
Page Kennedy as Officer Frank Moto
Photos courtesy of Far Field Productions, 20th Century Fox Television and Fox network