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.)
I liked it enough to add it to my DVR, but it felt more like the first night of a five-night miniseries (like the ones that were so prevalent in the 80's) than a full series. Is Seth McFarlane going to be a regular? He stuck out a lot.