Cop shows love to depict cities as a character in their dramas. Whether its The Streets of San Francisco, Hawaii Five-0, Miami Vice or CSI, the backdrop is as much a participant as it is silent observer.
So it was really only a matter of time before somebody set a prime time cop show in New Orleans. It’s full of colour and music from its high-class French quarters to its low-rent African American ‘hoods. After Hurricane Katrina the city was never the same, and this cop show, set two years from that disaster, seeks to maximise on the shifting city.
But that’s where its point of difference stops and starts. Sure, this is a confident, well-executed cop show. Anthony Anderson is Marlin, a policeman who was abandoned by his partner in the middle of Hurricane Katrina. It was a moment that has haunted him ever since. He is now partnered by Trevor (Cole Hauser) whose background, which is something of a spoiler, puts him at odds when it comes to resolving conflict.
The look and mood of K-Ville is suitably bleak, drawn of its colour as a city hanging on by a thread. Urban and hip-hop music clash with Dixie music. The two cops are thrown into an urban war as a charity fundraiser seeks to rebuild its community.
In a genre that is, pardon the pun, flooded with both competition and sex appeal, K-Ville will struggle to find an audience seeking escapism and crime-solving. Like New Orleans itself, there is a sense of hopelessness, which I suspect will not translate well for a weekly drama. Its tough going, but so far, satisfying for those who want brutal storytelling.
Whether this can float to the top of the heap remains to be seen.
K-Ville premieres at 9pm on Sunday October 7 on FOX8. The TEN Network has re-screening rights later.