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New Season: "K-Ville"

By admin Published: September 12, 2007

Premieres Monday on Fox

Anthony Anderson
Anthony Anderson

I've got a list of books to write sometime. My long-unfinished mystery novel, "Death Wore a Name Tag." A trilogy about a journalist in deep space. (I'm intrigued by the idea of an instant-news mentality facing the time lag that would come with space exploration.) There used to be one called "Those Awful Beatle Wives," but it's out of date now.

Then there's "When Bad Shows Happen to Good People," a collection of series disasters starring fine actors. (Suggestions welcome.) If I do that one, Anthony Anderson will probably get a chapter, and it will have to touch on "K-Ville."

While Anderson has dipped rather often into comedy, he demonstrated once and for all what a formidable dramatic presence he is on "The Shield." Because of that, I expected good things from "K-Ville." Expected them even more because the show is set in modern New Orleans, where Katrina is not merely a memory but an agonizing, visible, everyday presence.

Anderson, a veteran New Orleans cop, remembers all too well what happened two years ago; his new partner, played by Cole Hauser, has his own ties to the city, although he shrouds them in mystery to hide aspects of his past.

Unfortunately, the emotional traction you'd assume in a New Orleans show slips before the first episode is over, and it doesn't really come back in a second episode made available for preview. Even Anderson seems to lose his will by that second show, content to make routine dramatic moves in what's fundamentally a routine action show.

This is the kind of show where, after seeing bad guys shoot up a place, the good guys are in their car and chasing faster than you can say, "Fasten your seat belt and get it out of park." It has the sort of gunplay where the bride, observing a couple of action scenes, observed that the good guys "can't hit bleep." And the bad guys' motives, which the show considers hard to figure out, should be transparent to crime-show watchers.

The second episode deals more with Hauser's old secret (which I won't reveal here) and looks as if it's setting up a conflict that could continue in future episodes. But it's also talky, and overall even less interesting than the pilot. The first episode at least suggested that "K-Ville" could make a melodramatic companion to the high-energy nuttiness of "Prison Break" (which is even nuttier in the first two episodes of the third season). But that energy is drained from the second "K-Ville."

I look forward to Anderson's finding something better.

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