The Golden Boy ( Tv Series) Review

Posted: March 9, 2013 in Movie/show reviews
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2229167/

Lately, there has been a rise in these police dramas. Of course, there have always been police procedural dramas, but they normally had a fair amount of comic relief in them. Castle, for example, is a great show. A lot of people love it because of its lighthearted take in certain episodes, as well as the occasional “serious” case. (See the last two episodes.)

I love shows like that, however, certain people love “real” dramas. Completely understandable. Sometimes, I can’t just watch the Big Bang Theory. Sometimes, I’m in the mood for some Criminal Minds, the Mentalist, Castle, or even the Following. The Golden Boy is the new serious police drama.

Let me explain the story. The first episode (the Pilot) begins with rookie cop Walter Clarke (Theo James) and his partner responding to a jewelry store robbery. He quickly notices a getaway driver, and a shootout ensues. His partner is shot above his vest, and he is shot directly unto his vest. Now, I don’t know how well you know your bulletproof vests, but while they can stop bullets, they will hurt. Like Hell. As in, it can even crack ribs and cause concussions from the impact. So, for a ‘green’ cop like Walter to get up immediately is quite awesome. I don’t think that the writer was inaccurate in doing so, but I think it was a normal response, considering the adrenalin rushing through the cop’s veins… Plus, it quickly set him apart as a “not so” ordinary cop.

He kills the getaway driver and the robber suddenly walks out of the jewelry store with a hostage. Calmly, Walter Clarke shoots and kills the man without injuring the hostage.

Walter then begins performing CPR on his partner. It quickly fast-forwards seven years from the present to Walter Clarke in a fancy new office being interviewed by a journalist. The journalist asks him how it all started, and the show quickly rewinds back to after he finishes CPR.

Long story short, he’s a hero. He’s been given a golden police badge, he’s gotten accommodations, and has promised by the Deputy Commissioner any position as Detective in any department. Guaranteed. The Deputy begins by saying that Narcotics would be a good starting point. To which, Detective Clarke promptly interrupts him and proclaims his wishes to be in the Homicide Task Force.

Everyone in the Task Force are legendary detectives. The youngest one of them is at least a decade older than him, so naturally, everyone hates him and doesn’t want to work with him.

Now that that’s over with, let’s talk about the characters. Detective Walter Clarke has a sister whom he used to steal bread for (since they were quite poor when they were younger) and she, much to his dismay, moves in with a drug addict. He’s portrayed… I have to say, he is one of the most human characters I’ve encountered in a while. Let me tell you. Most shows take at least a season to make each and every character seem more than a cardboard cut out. It’s not even poor writing if it does. It’s natural.

However, like any other human, Walter has faults. He is cocky and arrogant at times, but he’s willing to do whatever it takes to help his sister. When push comes to shove, he does the job, and though he is very ambitious, he does his job well. He’s like what Shawn Spencer from Psych would have become, had he become a cop instead of a psychic detective.

Speaking of Psych, Walter Clarke (Theo James) has a grizzled detective as his partner. Detective Don Owen (Chi McBride) is a great counterpoint to the ambition of Walter. Where Walter knows nothing about the subtleties of interrogation, Don Owen is a master at it. He points out that the “top” detective of their precinct is making a big mistake in an interrogation, and he is correct. He is quiet, but powerful.

Is he a good detective? He doesn’t have the raw observation skills that Walter possesses, but he has decades of experience and is very keen on facts. He quickly catches unto Walter’s schemes and easily sees through his lies. Is he caring? He is working on an eleven year old cold case on his off time. He does this because the victim in question was killed on September 11,2001. He was close to finding the killer, and then the world fell apart. Each year, the man’s widow visits him to see if he’s got a new lead. And he’s still working on finding a killer from over a decade ago.

The Golden Boy is a unique show. You already know that the main character, Walter Clarke, will become successful. Yet, it achieves a level of suspense in showing you all the faults of the character. It makes you wonder how exactly he got to where he is. That is some achievement. You see, suspense automatically fades away if you know that a person is going to succeed, but by emphasizing all his mistakes and by leaving a few hints as to what will happen next, it becomes just as, if not more, suspenseful as it would have been, had we not known that he will succeed.

I can’t tell you more without spoiling it. Let’s talk about the faults of the show now. It’s really serious. Criminal Minds has just a tidbit of humor, which is why it has lasted this long. But, imagine this. You come home from a long, grueling day of work, and there are two shows currently playing. A Big Bang Theory marathon, or the new episode of Golden Boy. 80% of people will choose the Big Bang Theory marathon. So, this show is at a big risk of being cancelled.

This show is not perfect. Yet, the good parts about this show outweigh the bad parts. So, I suggest you give this show a try and see if you like it.

I’m giving this an 8.2/10

It is fresh and unique, much like the Following. In this day and age, we must treasure unique shows, lest we end up with remakes of JAG (good show, though), MASH, and NCIS. I hope this show does well. Give it a shot.

~J.A. Romano

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