Friday, July 11, 2008

Sepinwall on TV: 'Flashpoint' review

Today's column reviews the last remaining bit of strike insurance programming, CBS' "Flashpoint" -- though given that "Flashpoint" isn't very good, the column's mainly an excuse for me to work in more Canadian references.

16 comments:

jim treacher said...

Well, at least Colantoni is on American TV again. How sad that more people will watch this than ever watched Veronica Mars...

Kristin said...

Can I just say they picked the wrong 'token female' sniper? The gun is taller than she is!

I hate it when they don't choose the actor that fits the part. She looks out of place.

Anonymous said...

Interesting, consider originally a different actress (who looked more credible, and was a credible size) was cast and CBS demanded the role be recast with Amy Jo.

R.A. Porter said...

@kristin, the producers were just confused. They assumed Amy Jo could grow fifty feet tall, not realizing it was only when the Zords were combined that the MegaZord could grow.

I swear I didn't know that. I had to use Wikipedia. Honest.

Alan Sepinwall said...

I will say that if you're going to cast someone Amy Jo's size for a show about a SWAT team, sniper's probably your best option. I can believe she's a hell of a shot more easily than I'd believe she's the one asked to do some of the more muscle-intensive work that comes with that gig, you know?

But, yeah, she looks a little silly.

Nicole said...

It would be awesome if they had to save Robin Sparkles from a hostage crisis.

I don't know if I will watch this or not, but since it's on CTV I probably won't be able to escape it. Of course, as it's the first show since Due South to make it on a US network, there is press ad nauseum about it.

Sometimes it's fun just to watch a show to identify where scenes were shot, and I suspect that's the only reason I will watch it.

It's too bad something like Slings and Arrows wasn't put on a network, because that was a quality show. Actually, I would watch anything with Paul Gross in it. He can do comedy and drama and is easy on the eyes.

Number Five said...

The "Flashpoint" pilot is competent, but very retro (there's an extended sequence of the team driving to a crisis point with their sirens blaring, the sort of thing that went out 15 years ago) and fairly dull.

Yeah, I watched a couple episodes of a Twilight Zone marathon recently and was struck by how much interstitial sequences were used then compared to today.

Everything about that photo, from the Pink Ranger holding a sniper rifle that's half her weight to Enrico Colantoni just being there to the expressions of the guys on the right, is priceless.

jim treacher said...

"It would be awesome if they had to save Robin Sparkles from a hostage crisis."

Or maybe terrorists could attack Corner Gas!

Flashpoint/Due South connection: Hugh Dillon and Callum Keith Rennie were both in a very good punk mockumentary 10-12 years ago called Hard Core Logo. Along with John Pyper-Ferguson, who really should be famous.

Wasn't the Canadian show The Eleventh Hour supposed to be good? (Not to be confused with the Patrick Stewart series in Britain.) I also heard great things about Da Vinci's Inquest, but after seeing a few episodes on WGN, it left me cold. I could see why people liked it, but I just never made the effort to follow it.

Oh, and Intelligence is supposed to be pretty good, right?

Anthony Foglia said...

Speaking of SWAT teams, should Spike be showing a second season of "The Kill Point" soon? Whatever happened to that?

Nicole said...

Flashpoint team versus the Trailer Park Boys... now that would be a battle to the death!

I'm glad they can't revoke my citizenship because I have never really been into Canadian drama. I either went for the cheese like Street Legal or the Gemini nominated Forever Knight, or else just flipped to the news.

But we do rock at comedy. The Newsroom anyone?

jim treacher said...

Having now seen it, I thought it was a lot better than you're giving it credit for. They spent the first half on the hostage scene, and the second half on Hugh Dillon's character trying to come to grips with it. I thought he was really good. Coulda done without the "young hotshot" creep, though...

Alan Sepinwall said...

I thought it was fine, Jim, and Hugh Dillon was actually pretty good (and interesting that he got to carry more of the pilot than Enrico Colantoni). I just can't see myself watching it again voluntarily.

Matt said...

In watching, my thought is that it's a pretty well-made Canadian variant on the umpteen Bruckheimer and Bruckheimer-esque procedurals that dominate CBS primetime. Like most of those procedurals, it's not bad, but not actively interesting either. (Exceptions on the CBS procedural bell curve are Without A Trace on the "good" side and CSI: Miami on the "bad" side.)

jim treacher said...

I just thought they did some unexpected things that set this apart. Like devoting a full half of the episode to the aftermath of the shooting. Usually that's the last 5 minutes! And there were some clever bits of dialogue. Plus, okay, I still have a crush on the Pink Ranger.

jim treacher said...

Holy mackerel, 8 million people watched it. On Friday night at 10! America really is getting sick of reality TV, huh?

dualie said...

With the exception of a couple of comments from people who actually watched this without bias, comments on the blog are completely worthless.
Apparently, given the number of people who decided to watched this anyway, the show is MUCH better than the anti-Canadian pundits say.
I think it's a refreshing, tight, well-crafted hard to stop watching program. That it takes place in Toronto is mostly irrelevant, though it does offer an interesting location with a few interesting cultural differences.