Monday, August 17, 2009

Dylan McDermott: The New Horatio Caine

I’ve been watching TNT’s new show Dark Blue” for a few weeks now, and it’s left me rather cold. There was something not quite right with it and I hadn’t been able to figure it out until last week’s episode titled “August.” By the way, I have no clue as to why it was given that title because I couldn’t find anything that tied to it in the story.

The problem with “Dark Blue” – besides the flat acting, a cast of characters with no chemistry, some unrealistic scenarios, and clich├ęd dialog – is the lead character of Carter Shaw, played by Dylan Mc Dermott. My epiphany came to me during this episode when, in one scene as Carter goes to visit one of his team members who is undercover in jail, and Carter is wearing sunglasses, which he removes as he sits down. Bingo! Horatio Caine, I thought. It’s the same combination – bad acting, bad dialog, unrealistic scenarios, and sunglasses. I was watching a new, dark haired Horatio Caine-like character in action. I laughed long and hard, and then the show just became funny to me.

But seriously, Horatio Caine aside, the show is pretty implausible. Carter is able to assemble a team and seemingly go undercover and infiltrate just about any group at any time, and creating identities and getting the needed tools and equipment for his team in a flash, all from working inside what looks like a dark warehouse. In the first episode, Carter adds a woman to the team, Jamie (Nicki Aycox) and she has a past that she wants to keep secret. Of course, Carter finds out what she is hiding, but he gets her for the team anyway, despite the fact she seems to have almost zero experience in law enforcement. We all know he needs a woman for his undercover work so he has someone who can wear sexy clothes in the course of doing their work. Of course, Jamie needed an excuse to dress provocatively in “August” so she earned her keep.

Also poorly cast is Logan Marshall-Green as Dean Bendis. It seems they want to create some working tension AND sexual tension between Dean and Jamie. Sadly, there is no chemistry at all between them so the effort falls flat. Green is far too bland for the role.

The one thing I have yet to figure out is how these people can repeatedly work undercover in the same general area and not have someone be aware of their real identities as undercover law enforcement agents. In many cases they use the real first names (as Ty did in “August”) and since they seem to work consistently in the LA area, one would think their faces would get around as being undercover people. I know LA is a big city, but still, criminals DO talk. And speaking of going undercover, they make the act of infiltrating their targets too simple. Sure, criminals can let their guard down, but it seems that the criminals in these cases are far too trusting of outsiders, which makes the scenarios seem unrealistic.

The dialog is also hopelessly weak, almost as if someone was trying his/her first hand at writing a script and using every trite line in the book. I’ve read bad fan fiction that is better that the dialog in “Dark Blue.”

But Dylan Mc Dermott in those sunglasses – that was it for me. Once the Horatio Caine image crept into my mind, all hope was lost for this show, as far as I am concerned. I will probably finish watching the series just to have something to watch, but won’t be back in the event that this show gets renewed.

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