The Rookie: Pilot
October 17, 2018 5:55 PM - Season 1, Episode 1 - Subscribe

Small-town guy John Nolan pursues his dream of becoming a police officer after a life-altering incident. As the force's oldest rookie, he's met with skepticism from some higher-ups who see him as just a walking midlife crisis.
posted by oh yeah! (12 comments total)
I've lost my taste for police procedurals (Brooklyn 99 excepted), but as a Castle fan, I felt compelled to check out the premiere. It's a perfectly serviceable vehicle for a weekly dose of Fillion, but too much rah-rah-LAPD for me.
posted by oh yeah! at 6:28 PM on October 17, 2018

I enjoyed it. Certainly not any real ground being broken, but it seems like an engaging cast. Not wild about some of the story lines (agree with the Indie Wire review on that one), but I’m willing to give the show time to settle in and find its groove.

The way they present the geography of LA is absolutely hilarious, though. They’re using the DWP building in DTLA for a Mid-Wilshire police station, the cops apparently have enough of a break for lunch to make it over near the beach, and somehow Circus Liquor in North Hollywood is in their division.
posted by jimw at 9:23 PM on October 17, 2018

I liked it although that may have been on Fillion's strengths alone. The cast was great in general, actually.

My biggest problem wasn't the romantic "twist", my biggest problem was that this seemed SO MUCH like a recruiting promo for the LAPD that I checked the credits at the end to see if some sort of police union was given a producer's credit.

It does make it more of a traditional cop show, though -- all of the cops, so far, seem to be good guys. I'll be pretty bothered if they don't have some serious issues with police brutality and racism pretty fast, though. This is LA, after all.

Most ridiculous thing: When one rookie & trainer found the guy there was a BOLO for, they sent *another* rookie & trainer as backup. If this guy was as scary as they said, weren't there any partnered fully-trained cops who could help? Also, LA is such a hellhole that they all got to see multiple violent crimes in their first day of work.

I liked a bunch of things. I liked how Fillion's age was made fun of, but never treated like an outright disadvantage for the character. There would have been a lot of easy comedy in having him failing to understand technology, or panting and falling behind while the young folks are in hot pursuit. (Instead, we get him being mocked for putting his foot through a gate, which is more about his inexperience than his age.)

I liked how Fillion clearly had an instinct about the wife being the abuser, and failed to do anything about it and things went wrong. Instead of the normal TV thing where he'd mention his shocking insight at just the right moment to save someone.

I liked his construction-worker knowledge helping him because the fusebox was in the wrong place.

Not sure what to make of maybe-racist drill-sergeant cop. He seemed the most cliche character, but then the actor really did a good job of breaking down completely when he ran into his wife and I wasn't sure what to think anymore.

All in all Nolan was way too good of a cop for someone on their first day, but because Nathan Fillion, I believed every bit of it.

I liked Lucy's speech about how Nolan should just shut up about his insecurities because he'll be another "one of the guys" in a year while she'll have to spend her entire career proving she belongs there.

I watch a lot of cop shows so I'll probably watch this, but I hope it doesn't turn into a pure procedural.
posted by mmoncur at 3:15 AM on October 18, 2018 [4 favorites]

Hm, I dunno. It was interesting. I like the female rookie best. Some things did make me roll my eyes, like Nolan just being able to say "no, I'm not leaving" and get away with it.
posted by jenfullmoon at 7:16 AM on October 18, 2018

I wanted to punch Sgt. Grey in the face. Other than that, pretty watchable -- as most Nathan Fillion projects are.
posted by DrAstroZoom at 10:05 AM on October 18, 2018 [1 favorite]

Nolan just being able to say "no, I'm not leaving" and get away with it.

That was irrelevant I thought? In the scene just before, the chief just said he could stay, so not really anything to "get away" with.

Anyway, I've said this before, but "Quirky attractive white guy who sees the world a little bit differently solves problems with the help of his minority and/or female sidekicks" is still a show that gets made. Granted, this time the lead is not in charge or 25-35, but you have to vary the formula sometimes.

Still, I enjoyed it well enough aside from the secret relationship angle. With any luck that will get dropped ASAP. And despite the name I have hope that it will focus on all three rookies. Just add an S to the title! (Yeah, not likely)

The oversharing + life experience angle is fresh enough I guess in this type of show. Not a huge fan of shooting in the leg = "safe" way to diffuse a situation.

I'll give it an episode or two more, but hey, I watched Lethal Weapon for a season, so anything is possible.
posted by ODiV at 10:52 AM on October 18, 2018 [3 favorites]

It was... OK? I liked the parts you expect from Nathan Fillion, I was vaguely uncomfortable with the sort of rah rah police boosterism, and dude hardass TO was the source of most of that, for me? I guess I'm sort of hoping it ends up more towards Major Crimes (where the DA regularly warned the detectives that they couldn't do this or that, it's unconstitutional and will get thrown out of court immediately you idiots) and less Law & Order: Fuck Their Constitutional Rights (it's OK as long as the Bad Guys go to jail, right?).
posted by Kyol at 7:22 PM on October 18, 2018

I'm also not really a big fan of the secret relationship, but it is nice to see Dark Matter's Melissa O'Neil get a regular gig after that show got cancelled.

It was a little too rah-rah cop, but maybe that's what it had to be in the first episode. Maybe a bit o nuance about the police and a few more critical looks can start to creep in gradually as the rookies get their eyes opened more to what the reality really is. (No, I'm not truly expecting that, but here's hoping.)
posted by sardonyx at 7:34 PM on October 18, 2018 [1 favorite]

THAT'S where I recognized her from! It's been a while since I saw Dark Matter, but when Random Criminal Guy threatened her in her first scene and she said "You're threatening ME?" with a smile, I completely believed that the guy was about to get pounded.

I didn't know why I totally believed a rookie cop could handle herself that well, but now that I realize I was seeing her as a nanotechnology-infused super soldier it makes perfect sense...
posted by mmoncur at 5:55 AM on October 19, 2018

Oh, I believed it, but that's due to the circumstances. Trust me, anybody attacking me after I'd been pushing my classic sports car along the side of the road would have gotten a lot more than expected, and I'm not a trained fighter.

Dealing with cranky, cantankerous automobiles that leave you stranded tends to ramp up both protective instincts and adrenaline--especially your protective instincts, which is ironic because in those situations, that last thing you want to be protective of is that crappy hunk of money- and time-sucking metal that you've been pushing along the road, but it's one of those "only I can touch it and do it harm" scenarios. If anybody else tries anything, there's hell to pay.

(And why yes, as I was watching the episode, somebody in the same room turned to me and said, "look familiar?")
posted by sardonyx at 10:39 AM on October 19, 2018 [1 favorite]

Interesting pilot, the sergeant who's a dick to Fillion comes across as a little too Jack Nicholson in a few good men. I'm not sure if they mean him to be though, so will be interested to see if there's any investigation into that approach, or if they pass it off as flawed but totally justified.
posted by Carillon at 2:50 PM on October 23, 2018

I've been binging all the episodes to date. I completely agree with the criticisms of the cop-worship in the first two seasons. FWIW, the series has taken a significant turn towards addressing actual policing and social justice issues in Season 3.
posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul at 10:19 PM on March 5, 2021

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