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BACKSTROM Premiere Debriefing: Absolutely not your grandpa’s procedural

Courtesy Fox

Backstrom, the man, is absolutely unlikeable.

Backstrom, the show, won’t be, if the pilot is any indication.

Yes, it’s rough around the edges, much like the titular character, but FOX’s newest police procedural from Bones creator Hart Hanson has enough redeeming qualities, namely its stellar cast, that I think it’ll rise beyond its deliberately offensive opening to grow into its own.

Besides, there probably weren’t any other pilots on network TV with as many testicle jokes in an hour this season, so if nothing else it’s got that going for it.

Much like Hanson’s other shows, it mixes straight-up crime-solving with sarcasm and quirky characters, but unlike some of his past efforts, Backstrom is decidedly more cynical, and doesn’t deliver the heartfelt moments early on that have marked his other creations. And you know what? That’s okay, because solving murders doesn’t necessarily bring the warm fuzzies every time, especially not in rain-soaked Vancouver, er, Portland.


Nels knew how to operate a TV remote control before she knew how to talk. As a result, she has spent an inordinate amount of time pretending she actually lives on a soundstage. When she isn’t watching whichever show is currently capturing her heart, she is writing about how said show is currently capturing her heart. She loves pie.

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