Fancy Tech Can’t Save Fox’s APB

APB
Photo Credit: James Dimmock / FOX.

APB Series Premiere Plot Summary:

A tech billionaire buys a police precinct after witnessing his best friend’s death with the intent to revolutionize crime solving.

The broadcast networks have been struggling for the last few years. Streaming sites and cable networks are creating more compelling, more risqué and more innovative content. That’s not to say that the broadcast networks are incapable of producing quality shows, (see: ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy or CBS’ Madam Secretary) but they have been missing the mark as of late. Broadcast shows are usually for old people, if we’re being honest.

Enter APB, Fox’s new cop drama. Gideon Reeves (Justin Kirk) is a tech billionaire genius who buys Chicago’s 13th District police precinct. He is grieving after witnessing his friend’s death and has vowed to find the killer.

APB is intensely derivative and terrible. The show began with a very Tony Stark-esque business presentation to oil company higher ups (did anyone else see the obviously caucasian extra rocking a turban?) Then we are quickly introduced to Reeves’ company’s CFO and best friend. He is killed saving Reeves in a convenience store hold up. This is the fuel of our main character’s motivation.

But instead of solidarity, empathy, or compassion for the show, these characters or the storyline, the only thing rattling around my brain was propaganda over and over and over again. The word shouted itself whenever Reeves talked about his money or his genius or showed off one of the high tech toys meant to help the police. It clanged and clattered whenever there was a cop on screen, just doing their job in the face of hardship. It rang and jumped and backflipped when Reeves effectively took the local government hostage until he got what he wanted.

APB wants viewers to believe that cops are good and if they aren’t it’s because of lack of funding. There is no other reasons at all, thank you very much, please read and stick to our party line. Having money is important and makes you better than. If you have money you can do anything you damn well please, and that includes buying political favors in our free democratic nation. Cool.

Did I love APB on a social level? No. It was crap. They tried and failed so hard to be subtle. But, honestly, it still had the small potential of being a decent show. For example Person of Interest, which ran on CBS from 2011 to 2016, somewhat followed this same format. Though Finch did not buy a precinct, he was wealthy beyond words. He used high tech gadgets and genius level computer skills to aid the police, as well as solve his own crimes.

However, Person of Interest did it better and smarter. The characters never made me want to punch them in the face. They weren’t quippy with an air of smarter or holier than thou. They were real. I have to stop the comparison here though, because if I continue, this review of APB will become a love letter to Person of Interest and now is just not the time (love seeing Kevin Chapman AKA Lionel as Captain Hauser, even though I am currently harboring an extreme dislike for APB).

The writing, the development and the characters are not strong. It makes all the propaganda issues I brought up earlier more glaring. Or maybe fuels the reason I think I see it in the first place. They are trying to cover the lack of real story under high tech taser guns, flak jackets and drones, which unfortunately is not working.

Fox should have consulted with Dick Wolf before attempting a cop drama. He knows what he’s doing.

RATING: 2 OUT OF 10

APB Airs Monday Nights at 9 on Fox

Marley Ghizzone is the current music editor and former Breaking News Editor for The Pop Break. Aside from writing news, Marley reviews television shows and the odd film. Pop culture is her drug of choice and her talents include binge watching entire seasons of TV shows obsessively fast and crying over fictional characters. Marley is a graduate of Rowan University. Follow her on twitter: @marleyveee

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