K-Ville, Monday nights on FOX

Last night, FOX started its Fall TV season by bringing back Prison Break for it’s new year and starting up one of its most anticipated new shows, K-Ville. (The real TV Premiere Week, by the way, isn’t until next week — so watch for lots of TV-related posts on this blog in the next 14 or so days!).

To be honest, I gave up on Prison Break about halfway into last season, so I won’t be tuning in for that at all this time around. Seriously, there’s a reason we call Wentworth Miller “Permasmirk” in my house, and while it was kind of endearing for the first 22 episodes (so concerned! so brow-furrowed!), by about the 26th ep, I found myself wondering if our mothers had been right about funny-faces freezing that way, and by the time the 28th rolled around, I’d stopped caring about his forehead wrinkles altogether. Go ahead, look old before your time, Permasmirk. See if I care.

On the other hand, Cole Hauser, of FOX’s new show K-Ville, previously starred in a really bad underwater-cave-monster movie (The Cave) with Eddie “Dimples” Cibrian, and that has endeared him to me for life. Well, that and his eyes, hair, and cute butt, of course. I don’t ask for much.

K-Ville, which debuted on FOX last night at 9pm (with the pilot rerunning tonight at 9), is about a white cop named Trevor (Hauser), who has moved to New Orleans two years post-Katrina, and been paired up with an African American cop named Marlin (Anthony Anderson, last seen kicking ass on The Shield). Marlin was born and raised in NOLA and stayed on through Katrina and its aftermath, helping with the rescues, the nightmares, and now, two years later, the ongoing, neverending clean-up.

There’s tension between the two new partners right off the bat — for one thing, Marlin is suspicious of Trevor’s motives because he thinks only someone completely insane would choose to come to New Orleans to be a cop right now (incidentally, the revelation of Trevor’s true motives comes at the end of episode one and was a bit of a stretch for me, but I’m willing to just go with it for now). Iin the reverse, Trevor isn’t too sure he can trust Marlin either, as Marlin is still reeling from the loss of his partner Charlie, who literally ran away when things got too hard after Katrina. Though Marlin insists he’s fine, he drinks on the job and doesn’t seem at all pleased to have to work closely with anybody again.

The first episode is spent the way most pilots are, with heavy-handed “WE ARE IN NEW ORLEANS NOW” hint-dropping (“Hey, let’s get some gumbo!”) and lots of stilted dialogue and over-exposition. The mystery plot of the pilot was more intriguing in theory than in practice, too, unfortunately. However, Cole and Anthony were nothing short of awesome, in my opinion, and I’m really looking forward to the next few episodes when the plots and characters should start to even out a bit more.

Additionally, though some have said they think it’s too soon for TV to be “exploiting” post-Katrina NOLA as a setting, I couldn’t disagree more with that. I think it will do us all some good to have the astonishing lack of rebuilding in New Orleans thrust into our faces each week, frankly, and also to get a better sense of what the various communities and residents are still going through (the scene in which the bad guys stick a firehose into the window of Marlin’s daughter’s room was just horrific, and really brought home for me the kind of trauma little kids who went through Katrina must still be struggling with even now).

All in all, I enjoyed the first episode, thought the New Orleans elements were handled very well, and am looking forward to next Monday’s episode. Did you watch? If not and you’re now intrigued, tune in tonight at 9pm on FOX. If so, what did you think? Post in comments and let me know!

Official K-Ville site: http://www.fox.com/kville/

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