What happens when a tech billionaire turns his attention to fighting crime? We get Batman. However, Fox can’t use that character so they gave us Gotham. I’m digressing fast, where was I? Right, billionaire fighting crime. We get Fox’s latest television show APB. This show is every conservative’s wet dream; it basically advocates the full privatization of the police. Did no one see Robocop? There’s even a cop named Murphy. APB, Premieres Monday, Feb 6 at 9pm.
The show is an interesting animal, the first few minutes it starts off as sort of a comedy, but turns serious quickly. When technology billionaire Gideon Reeves (Justin Kirk – Weeds, Tyrant) is robbed and his longtime friend killed in a convenience store robbery he decides to apply his genius and money to helping the police stop crime. He basically decides to buy his own police district for $100 million. Of course the city council refuses to go along, but after threatening their jobs they roll over like a sack of potatoes. It’s basically Fox’s version of Castle without its S1 – S3 charm.
Token opposition is given to the concept of someone owning the police, when the cops question his motives but he wins them Some of the initial tech he introduces seem obvious: better bullet proof vests, more powerful Tasers, a community app, new police cars connected to apps and of course drones with weapons. Once more, all the police officers, cars and drones are of course hooked up to surveillance cameras so their every action is recorded.
Generally, I keep my liberal views out of reviews, but in the age of Trump I can’t sit by anymore. No matter how well produced and innocuous this show may be, I can’t get past how disgusting and dangerous I think the basic premise is and think that it is propaganda for the privatization movement. I mean who wouldn’t look at this glossy production with a likeable cast and well meaning tech billionaire and come away thinking – yeah this is a brilliant idea.
The first two episodes felt a bit like a bland, standard police show. The initial cases didn’t grab me. The first few eps are more focused on Gideon trying to fit in and prove that all of his technology works. As certain situations occur that proves you still need boots on the ground, he comes up with alternative solutions. For example, there’s an incident where a gun man takes a hostage and shoots a cop while Gideon just stood by and watched. Luckily the cop was wearing one of Gideon’s bullet proof vests. Gideon’s solution is to arm his drones with non-lethal weapons. Did he not watch Terminator?
Cast of characters are barely worth mentioning because at this stage they are all cardboard cutouts. Natalie Martinez is Amelia Murphy the only cop on the force who is willing to give Gideon a chance and becomes his “partner.” Taylor Handley is the tough, old school cop Roderick Brandt who doesn’t trust Gideon. Ernie Hudson is Sgt Ed Conrad the typical police Captain/Sgt and Nestor Serrano is shady Mayor Michael Campos.
My bleeding heart bias aside APB isn’t a bad show, but it’s not very good or interesting either. It’s a perfectly safe, mediocre hour of instantly forgettable television.
Final Grade C