Wednesday, March 04, 2015

The Battle Begins

I've been to Battle Creek.  It's a pleasant town located in the central part of lower Michigan.  It's best known as Cereal City, the headquarters of Kellogg's, the area's largest employer. They used to give tours, but they stopped.  Not sure why, but I hope it's not because the terrorists won.

Anyway, now there's a police drama on CBS called Battle Creek, though I'm not quite sure why.  They don't play up the cereal connection.  They seem to be using the place as a stand-in for any hick town, which is a bit unfair--it's not that far from Detroit or Chicago (and even closer to Kalamazoo, Grand Rapids and Ann Arbor).  It's big enough to have a decent downtown, and seems reasonably up to date.

But not to street-smart Detective Russ Agnew.  He's a big fish in a small pond, and he's not happy with how rundown the pond is.  He and partner Detective White have to work with outmoded machinery that falls apart while they're trying to make an arrest.  So he complains to Commander Guziewicz for some help.  And they get it, just not in the form Agnew wants.

The new help is in the form of the very professional (and professionally handsome) Special Agent Milton Chamberlain, who will run the new FBS office there.  He used to work at the Detroit office but is being sent to the bush leagues for some deep dark secret we haven't yet been told.  Chamberlain isn't thrilled with the assignment but tries to make the best of it.  In no time, he's got everyone but Agnew oohing and aahing at his big-city ways.

So (as everyone knows from the get go) it's inevitable this odd couple team up.  Chamberlain has top moves that distinguish him from the small city cops, though Agnew has picked up a thing or two along the way. (At least, I assume he has--in the pilot Chamberlain is almost always right when they clash).  The plot deals with two murdered drug dealers, and has the good guys follow a few false leads until they find the real killer.  As for Battle Creek, the show allows its streets to be as big or small as needed to fit whatever the script demands.

Dean Winters is Agnew. I've never liked this actor before, but probably because he played such a jerk on 30 Rock.  Josh Duhamel is his handsome self as Chamberlain.  He's a bit stiff, but I can't tell if it's the actor or the character.  Aubrey Dollar brings a fresh face as Holly Dale, one of Agnew's coworkers, who seems to be in love with him.  In smaller, unrewarding parts are Kal Penn--late of House--as White, and great British stage actress Janet McTeer as the very American Guziewicz--hey, Janet gotta eat.

The show was created by David Shore of House and Vince Gilligan of Breaking Bad, so it's got something going for it.  It did seem a cut above, but only a slight cut.  As a police procedural, it'll fit right into the CBS lineup.  Which is why I rarely watch the CBS lineup.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

what battle inspired the creek name? Some sort of indian-settler thing?

2:45 AM, March 04, 2015  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It was a brouhaha between a couple of surveyors and a couple of Indians in the early 1800s. No big deal, really. It's not like they were taking the sugar out of frosted flakes.

2:57 AM, March 04, 2015  
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