Jared's new series Walker debuted today (CW/Stan). Its a bit of a throwback to the sort of family-friendly fare you might've watched with your family on a Saturday or Sunday night at 7.30 if you were a kid in the 70s or 80s. And that's not a criticism!
It may seem an odd hit for the superhero heavy schedule on the CW, but under the Stetson wearing exterior, it is a show about a guy fighting crime and his relationships with the people around him. Surprisingly, for me, its the family drama aspect that interests me much more than the crime fighting.
Maybe the most interesting thing about the show is that it puts a new lens over the heroic dedicated crime fighter figure - as evidenced by the fact that nearly every character in the pilot calls him a dick at some point!
Cordell is a guy used to getting his way. He's hot and charming and strong. He's the guy you love having as a friend but no not to rely on. You know he has used the "my job is important" line a lot to justify putting it first, before even his family. This is not for any noble reason but because its what he likes doing. We know the type well - a bit of an adrenaline junkie, a guy who'll break the rules to get the job done, who is used to his colleagues rolling their eyes at him, but admiring him coz he always gets the job done.
There's no doubt Cordell loved his wife and kids but he was a somewhat absent father even before leaving to go undercover for 10 months immediately after his wife's death, leaving his two grieving kids in the care of his parents and brother. Just think on that - one month after Emily is killed , he leaves. Cordell gets to bury himself in his work, and avoid dealing with the impact her death has had on his children - and on himself.
Coming home, he finds he's no longer at the centre of the Walker story. His old partner is now his boss, his new partner wants to succeed and is not about to let him ruin things for her. They both let him know that his "old ways" aren't acceptable. His mother has put his kids in a Catholic school that he's not happy with, his brother has been caring for and knows his kids better than he does (despite the impact it has had on his relationship with the inevitably hot boyfriend Brett), and the kids themselves are barely holding their shit together.
The show will obviously be grappling with some current social issues, and I'll be interested to see how that plays out. I admire their aspiration to include issues like immigration and police violence and racism in a cop show set in Texas!
The casting is great across the board - the stand-out being Lindsay Morgen (who played Raven in The 100) as the new partner Micki Rameriez. She manages to be both strong and funny, is a great foil for Jared and has an impressive roundhouse kick!
As a pilot it was efficient at introducing the characters, and the premise, without long expository speeches. It was also wonderful to see Austin - a place where people do wear stetsons unself-consciously!