TV Recap: Backstrom, ‘Dragon Slayer’ (Series Premiere)

Written by Lucas P. Jones

BACKSTROM_Logo

Photo Credit: Frank Ockenfels/FOX
Photo Credit: Frank Ockenfels/FOX

“Dragon Slayer” Plot Summary:

Based on the the Swedish book series by Leif G. W. Persson, Backstrom is a crime drama/comedy that centers around the antics of the titular politically incorrect yet genius detective. In the premiere Backstrom and his team investigate the homicide of a senator’s sun.

Fox’s new show Backstrom will prove to be mostly hit or miss for viewers, and for one simple reason; the show is just like every other procedural show on television. Because of that, people will either love it’s easy to follow drama, or hate that they have seen it all before.

Photo Credit:  Sergei Bachlakov/FOX
Photo Credit: Sergei Bachlakov/FOX

In Backstrom, Rainn Wilson plays the title character, Everett Backstrom. An investigator who is as intelligent and aware as he is rude, crass, and politically incorrect. He’s a bit rough around the edges but damn it he gets results! (See where this is going?). His character even comes complete with a signature phrase. He interrogates suspects by starring in a one man good cop/bad cop routine, ending with a grand theory of just exactly how they got away with the supposed crime. The show even comes complete with the standard procedural drama tropes. There is your veteran cop John Almond (Dennis Haysbert), your green behind the ears cop Nicole Gravely (Genevieve Angleson), smart cop Peter Neidermayer (Kristoffer Polaha), and generic cop Frank Moto (Paige Kennedy).

The episode itself is extremely generic, though that is to be expected from a series opener. Take too many risks and you doom yourself to failure. But if a new show is going to start with the exact same formula as hundreds of other shows, perhaps taking a few risks might have been a good idea? The attempts to play up Wilson’s character as politically incorrect boiled down to, “Hey! There’s a black guy, he must have done it!”

Overall, this episode, and the concept, seems to fall very, very flat. But one episode does not a series make, so I will probably be following along to see if there is improvement. Out of the gate, however, Backstrom is a best nothing special.

Rating: 5 out of 10

Backstrom airs every Thursday night at 9pm on FOX.