New Crime Shows This Fall.

by Gerald So

K-Ville (Mondays, 8PM on FOX) is a cop drama set in post-Katrina New Orleans, starring Anthony Anderson and Cole (son of Wings) Hauser. The premiere was fine. Good action, good atmosphere, but the backstory of Hauser’s character, Trevor Cobb, ruins it for me. By the end of the premiere, viewers learn he was a convict who took the chance to reinvent himself when Katrina hit, first joining the Army, then the NOPD. Would not happen in real life.

Chuck (Mondays, 8PM on NBC) is an action comedy created by Josh Schwartz (The O.C.) about an electronics store techie whose brain is bombarded with thousands of state secrets when an old rival, now a rogue spy, sends him an e-mail. Separately tasked with recovering said secrets are Maj. John Casey of the NSA (Adam Baldwin) and Sarah Walker of the CIA (Yvonne Strahovski). It’s nicely unclear which agency has the better motive. Chuck has a good geek factor and appealing leads. It remains to be seen if they’ll be fleshed out in a fresh way or if this is Jake 3.0.

Journeyman (Mondays, 10PM on NBC) stars Scottish actor Kevin McKidd as San Francisco reporter Dan Vassar, who begins to black out and trip through time without warning. I found the premiere not different enough from previous turn-back-time dramas Quantum Leap, Early Edition, and Tru Calling.

Reaper (Tuesdays, 9PM on CW) is about a 21-year-old slacker (Bret Harrison) who learns his parents sold his soul to The Devil (Ray Wise) before he was born. The Devil puts him to work sending escaped souls back to hell. Though its premise is similar to the canceled FOX series Brimstone, as a comedy, Reaper is very different in tone. Worth a look.

Bionic Woman (Wednesdays, 9PM on NBC) is an update bearing little resemblance to the original 1976 show beyond the protag’s name. The new Jaime Sommers (Michelle Ryan) is a college dropout bartender rashly fitted with bionics by her surgeon boyfriend after their near-fatal car accident. The organization behind Jaime’s bionics is rather shady, and soon she’s pursued by psychopathic previous model Sarah Corvis (Katee Sackhoff). As with most superhero shows, as human as Jaime and Sarah seem, there will always something otherworldly about them that will have to be served, and that ultimately turns me off.

Life (Wednesdays, 10PM on NBC) stars British actor Damian Lewis as Charlie Crews, a cop whose wrongful conviction is overturned twelve years into a life sentence. Many of his former colleagues hate him, either because they still suspect him or because he sued for reinstatement. Relying on the Zen he studied in prison, Crews must catch up on twelve years of the American culture while solving crimes including who originally framed him. Reminiscent of House, Raines, and Blind Justice, will Life distinguish itself?

Moonlight (Fridays, 9PM on CBS) tops Journeyman as the least original series of the fall. Following the cases of Los Angeles P.I./vampire Mick St. John (Alex O’Loughlin), everything about this show feels as if it’s been done before, from the voiceover, to the mortal love interest, to the attempts to keep a secret identity.

For more of Gerald’s thoughts and observations, check out his blog: If you want to know about my Life…