Cold Case

Thursday, November 6, 2003

It's been said by many many people before me that Jerry Bruckheimer may want to lay off the crime dramas for a little while. I guess he's not really a guy to back off a trend prematurely, but 4 crime dramas on one network is a little much. Then again, Cold Case was picked up for the rest of the season, so I guess there's really no reason for him to stop, unless he suddenly develops an aesthetic conscience.

So, since Cold Case looks like it'll be with us for a while, let's see if it's worth watching. Short answer (for those who are reading this at 7:59 on a Sunday evening and have to pick their evening's viewing RIGHT NOW) is no. The pilot jumped right in to a "torn from the headlines" story, which, in my opinion, is a pretty alarming way to start your pilot. In fact, I'm opposed to "torn from the headlines" in pretty much all cases. It's the main reason I can't watch Law and Order any more; what's the point in watching a procedural drama if you already know where it's going. If you really need to steal from real-life events, at least try to pick something that not every member of the viewing audience is likely to be aware of.

Ignoring my advice, Cold Case starts off with the Martha Moxley murder. Yawn. I suppose the producers invoked this case when pitching the show to CBS to show the dramatic possibilities of cold cases, so felt compelled to deliver their version as the pilot. Still, it makes for a boring story. The rich guy killed her? What a shock!

Anyway, our main character is a fairly boring blond cop (as opposed to the fairly interesting blond cop played by Poppy Montgomery over on Without a Trace) who solves cold cases with a passion, but only after her boss made her. Boring.

On the plus side, the pilot episode was directed by Mark "The Most Agressive Cut/Fade/Dissolve/Scene Transition Guy Working on the Major Circuit Right Now" Pellington, so the show does look good. They do a really nice job treating the film stock so it looks like it was shot in a period-appropriate time for the flashback sequences, which gives the proceedings a nice visual quality, even if it's solely lacking in, you know, plot and character.

Now, it may well be that the success of Jerry Bruckheimer's assorted crime dramas is the only thing giving him the clout to keep The Amazing Race on the air, in which case I can't really urge you not to watch his shows. But I'd much rather spend my energy convinced you to watch The Amazing Race instead. It's enough to burn off whatever hostilities you might have towards Mr. Bruckheimer and generate enough goodwill that you can't really hate shows like Cold Case as much as you should.

Rating: C (Not especially good. But looks nice.)

Reviewed by Padgett Arango
Contents
The Hills Have Eyes 2

Hostel Part II

Six Degrees

Shark

Jericho

Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip

Justice

The Hills Have Eyes

Love Monkey

Out of Practice

Head Cases

Crunchwrap Supreme

The Exorcism of Emily Rose

Batman Begins

Garden State

Hero

13 Going On 30

LAX

Starman

quirkyalone.net

Kill Bill, Vol. 2

Line of Fire

We Shall All Be Healed

Happy Family

Arrested Development

Love Actually

A Minute with Stan Hooper

Tarzan

Karen Sisco

Stop All the World Now

Cold Case

Skin

10-8

Joan of Arcadia

Eve

Luis

Lost In Translation

House of 1000 Corpses

Bubba Ho-Tep

Darkness Falls

Pirates of the Caribbean

The Amazing Race

Treasure Island

FearDotCom

Adaptation

To Hit Armor Class Zero

Without A Trace

8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter

Life With Bonnie

Jalapeņo Cheeseburger

The Mothman Prophecies

Happy Campers

The Man Who Wasn't There

Kiss of the Dragon

Josie & the Pussycats

Hedwig and the Angry Inch

Dr. Pepper

Know By Heart

Waking Life

L.I.E.

Thirteen Ghosts

Earthlink presents Chang and Eng

New York and Country Bar

Change

Motivation and Water Tower Grammar

Crossing Philly

Makeout Club

Undeclared

The Gap

The Abolition of Work

3000 Miles to Graceland

Kolobos

Duets

The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea

Diesel Sweeties

The Cold Six Thousand

The Grilled Stuft Burrito (Rebuttal)

60 Second Wipeout

The Patriot

Grilled Stuft Burrito

Cowgirls

Crystalline

Frankenfinger E.P.

One Force Down

Shake

Both Our Secrets

Happy Birthday Captain Columbus!

Fight Club

Whatever It Takes

Committed

That Skinny Motherfucker with the High Voice?

Joe Dirt

The Veggie Whopper

Taco Bell Nachos

Palmetto

Godzilla vs. Monster Zero

The Terror of Mechagodzilla

To The Center

Infiniti+Infiniti

American Psycho

The Del Shredder

What Lies Beneath

The Cheesy Gordita Crunch

Bring It On

Chill Factor

Alan Mendelsohn, the Boy from Mars

Bad Company

The Blair Witch Project

Hyacinths and Thistles

Lake of Dracula

We'll Have a Time

Home Depot

Snow Day

The Virgin Suicides