Ironside

NBC, Wednesdays 10/9 Central

Oct 02, 2013 Web Exclusive
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That the main character is in a wheelchair doesn't make Ironside any different from a rote police procedural. A remake of the late '60s/early '70s show of the same name, the titular character is a detective paralyzed by a bullet, wheelchair-bound but still on the job. Blair Underwood plays Ironside, very unlike Raymond Burr, who played the role in the original series. Where Burr's Ironside was cautious, Underwood's version is rule-breaking. He surrounds himself with a team that can see his intentions through, no matter how wrong his approach is. Holly (Greek's Spencer Grammer) has no problem asking no questions and delivering Ironside's needs, inappropriateness be damned, while his captain, Ed Rollins (the Sean Lennon-looking Kenneth Choi) struggles with Ironside's questionable methods. Virgil (Pablo Schreiber), whose work life and home life clash too much for his comfort, and Teddy (Neal Bledsoe), who comes from money and flaunts authority as a side effect, round out Ironside's team. Flashbacks riddle Ironside as the viewer gets a look into how things used to be, in an effort to explain why things are the way they are now.

Gruff at every turn, including when he's coaching hockey, and always working, even in the middle of an amorous interlude, Ironside overdoes the dedicated cop role, overcompensating for the wheelchair with his relentless pursuit of criminals. This is both a downfall of the character and of the actor portraying him. Underwood always plays overconfident characters, and Ironside is no exception, but the wheelchair aspect makes it feel like he is trying too hard. None of the other characters are defined enough to balance out anything Underwood is doing. The stories are textbook cop fodder. Having said that, if you are a fan of textbook cop fodder, Ironside works just as well as any of the other police procedurals littering the television airwaves. (www.nbc.com/ironside)

Author rating: 4/10

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