On the other hand, we have "Raines." Now, I like Jeff Goldblum - maybe even more than James Woods - and he seems to be doing the best with what he's given and I couldn't imagine anyone else bringing this character to life, but....well, let's just say this show has been pretty freakin' predictable thus far and that tends to overpower any fun I might be getting out of the gimmick. Hey Nicole Sullivan, great that you still can find work. Chick chop, you're probably hot out of the uniform, but I can't remember where I might have seen you before. Dude cop, I wish I was more interested in your dynamic with Raines, but it's not happening for me yet. Captain, I love you no matter what you're in, but I can't remember your name. Madeleine Stowe, you are not believable as a shrink, but I've only seen you once so I'll let it go. Malik Yoba, you're great. Too bad you had like one line this week. I don't know if I can be bothered to follow this show into the "competing with the second hour of Smackdown!" time slot given that I have about thirteen Law & Orders on the DVR that I STILL haven't gotten around to - hey, I know, but I guess I'm just busier on Fridays than I like to admit.
This is the first one of these I've seen, so all disclaimers about whether this episode was representative, bla-bla...
The "talking to ghosts" theme, crossed with the "socially maladaptive cop who only functions well within the system with the help of his wrangler". Actually, that's a satisfactory combination, so long as the characters are intrinsically interesting.
I was moderately entertained. (I wasn't thrilled to the point of running to my TiVo to set up future recordings.) But I should have been more entertained than I was. Talking to the victim's ghost -- pretty good! (Different style than "6 Feet Under", but still satisfactory.) Interactions with the co-workers -- fine, but drier than necessary for the character. Subtexted relationship with the captain -- good. Interaction with the therapist -- nowhere near as clever as the writers had hoped or should have been. Subtexted relationship between the captain & the therapist -- yawn. Victim's ghost reflecting back onto our hero his own perceptions -- more than a little heavy-handed. Hangin' with partner's ghost on Venice Beach -- purely overkill expository, at least in this episode viewed standalone.
I'm torn -- is Goldblum doing as much with the part as he should, does his "playing it low-key" not translate all that well to 40+ minutes on TV, or is it weak writing/directing? I can't quite tell from one episode -- & I'm not sure that I'm sufficiently motivated to seek out a second.
(I always find that the Near Miss is even sadder to me than the Total Dross. Too bad.)
The main plot with Cleveland coming to grips with his age feels like it's been done so many times. There were some funny moments, like Junior's conversation with Larry the Leopard ("Why would Danny Glover be in our house?")