Olivia O’Neil ‘16 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer
The new TV show, Battle Creek, presents itself as a buddy cop show. One cop is from a small, underfunded precinct, who is always the one to come through in the end against all odds including his bad attitude. The other character is an FBI agent who everyone loves because he is kind and smart, and never seems fazed by anything that even criminals trust him. Put them together and one would expect a clash, eventual growth, and possibly even friendship. Well the clash was certainly there; Detective Russ Agnew (Dean Winters) is unhappy when Special Agent Milton Chamberlain (Josh Duhamel) shows up and is taking away his spotlight.
By the end of the first episode Chamberlain is still perfect whom everyone loves, except Agnew who is still angry, and now also incompetent. For there to be an eventual friendship between these two, there needs to be give and take where both of the characters need to have value, instead of it seeming like the Special agent was carrying the detective’s weight. More importantly, neither detective is likeable. Detective Agnew acts like a child who has had his toy taken away, and that no one will pay attention to him. Contrasting with him, Chamberlain is the perfect-at-everything, good looking adversary that people hate because no one is that perfect with things coming so easily to him. All the writers had to do to fix this was let Agnew be right once when he was up against Chamberlain to prove his worth, and maybe allude to a dark backstory for the Special Agent. There was nothing about this show that compels someone to watch the second episode, other then to see if the characters remain as flat and static as they currently are.
The thing that is really going to make or break this show is its social relevance. The show is about an underfunded precinct in a crime heavy city. The storyline is supposed to make the audience feel sympathy for the cops. The thing is, in the real world right now, there are precincts with tanks, and police brutality is in the news every day. Making the audience feel bad for cops who don’t have the money for all their toys might prove difficult in this current, cultural climate. This is like when a character is complaining about his taser not working saying “do you want me to shoot people, I can do that I can shoot people instead.” The comment was funny and uncomfortable, but jokes like that are going to divide the audience. If the show starts to heavily preach liberal views, the conservatives will obviously not like the show and will lose viewers (Like what happened to The New Normal). Yet, if they don’t address what is happening currently in the world, the show will become irrelevant.
Despite all of this, the show has the potential to succeed. It is common for the pilot of a show to be among its worst episodes, and this pilot was particularly bad. However, that does not mean that the show is going to be. If it is given the time, it might find its voice, and knowing who makes up the cast, it probably will be a funny show. Also, being on one of the most successful networks CBS, it could potentially be air for a while. Unfortunately, this reviewer will not be watching.