Battle Creek

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Only the insanely attractive Josh Duhamel could carry off playing a character named Milton! Set in Battle Creek, Michigan, which contrary to the small town impression given by the show is the world headquarters for Kellogg’s cereals, but evidently it’s meant to stand in for every generic podunkville in the state. Detective Russ Agnew is rumpled, surly, cynical in the extreme and has been pushed past the limits of all endurance by the non-existent resources of his police department. Sweeping into town to “help” the beleaguered PD is Milt Chamberlain, an FBI Dudley-Do-Right who’s handsome, seems to lead a charmed life and whom everyone immediately likes. Only one person’s not buying it and that’s Agnew. Frustrated beyond all belief by Milt’s improbable success, he gripes, “Everything this guy does, it’s naïve, it’s simplistic and it works.” If you’ve ever read the now lamentably late Sir Terry Pratchett’s Discworld books, these two characters are excellent real world adaptations of Captain Carrot and Commander Vimes. Agnew even uses Vimes’ personal motto: “Everybody lies”. If they can learn to work together instead of having an adversarial relationship, they’ll be nigh unstoppable. The show isn’t perfect, but the bones of it are good. It starts very slowly and frequently goes for the cheap laugh. For example, a cop mangles his Spanish, saying, “Very cold, I arrest myself” instead of ‘Freeze, you’re under arrest.” I have a feeling this will develop into something magnificent as we learn whether Milt really is that ingenuous or if there are hidden depths behind those guileless eyes and if Agnew can ever shake off that huge chip on his shoulder. Excellent supporting cast and lots of humor, mostly derived from the dichotomy between Milt and Agnew and their disparate styles of police work. Three episodes in, I’d say this is worth a solid four stars with the potential for more, but sadly it’s been cancelled after just one season. – BETHANY

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       Detective Agnew and Special Agent Milt Chamberlain

Det. Jacocks (Liza Lapira), Det. Niblet (Damon Herriman), Det. White (Kal Penn), Det. Funkhauser (Grapevine), Holly Dale (Aubrey Dollar).

         Josh Duhamel and Dean Winters

                                                   Commander Kim Guziewicz (Janet McTeer)

                           Candice Bergen as Detective Agnew’s mother Constance (a convicted felon, naturally)

Patton Oswalt as the Mayor of Battle Creek in episode (not kidding) “Cereal Killer”



Photos courtesy of Shore Z Productions, Gran Via Productions, CBS Television Studios and Sony Pictures Television


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