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BACKSTROM Debriefing: More than one way to skin a cranky detective

Backstrom cast

Everett Backstrom may be renowned for his cynicism, but in this week’s episode of Backstrom, we witness the biggest chinks in his armor yet, thanks to a surprise visit from an ex-flame (Scrubs’ Sarah Chalke) and the compelling case of a murdered cult member who only wanted to reunite with her mother. It’s the most we’ve seen his work affect him so far, and it seems that Lt. Backstrom’s brusqueness might just be hiding some pent-up pain, after all.

Nels

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.

BACKSTROM Debriefing: Ring of fire (starters)

Backstrom cast

This week’s episode of Backstrom isn’t nearly as dark — visually or tonally — as last week’s pilot, but that doesn’t make our resident misanthrope any less of a jerk. Especially not when his sworn enemies, in the form of two hunky firefighters, show up to stir up all kinds of childhood baggage in “Neverett.” There are fires and fights, and we can finally tell Backstrom to go fly a kite.

Nels

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.

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

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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