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Thursday, August 23, 2007

"K-Ville" Review: It's Just Too Soon

When FOX announced that it had picked up “K-Ville,” a cop drama set in post-Katrina New Orleans, a lot of critics had their doubts. Is it too soon for a show with Katrina as a major plot point?

I would have to say the answer to that question is a resounding yes.

In all honesty, though, I think it will always be too soon…

“K-Ville” centers around Marlin Boulet (Anthony Anderson), a cop who desperately wants to put his city back together—especially his neighborhood in the 9th ward. Marlin does everything he can to keep people from selling their property. Among those who don’t want to return is Marlin’s wife, who wants to keep her daughter away from the neighborhood.

Marlin’s new partner, Trevor Cobb (Cole Hauser), just returned from a tour in Afghanistan, and Marlin wonders why he would want to come to New Orleans instead of returning to his home in Cincinnati. The two try to adjust to each other while dealing with Marlin’s ex-partner Charlie who was fired after he abandoned Marlin during the aftermath of Katrina.

Rounding out the crew at the police station are Jeff Gooden (Blake Shields), Ginger LeBeau (Tawney Cypress) and Captain James Embry (John Carroll Lynch)…

Anthony Anderson is solid as the man still trying to put the pieces back together and I’ve always been a fan of John Carroll Lynch, although I’m not sure about his accent. But “K-Ville” is pretty much your run-of-the-mill cop show. You’ve got your cop who’s slightly off-center who doesn’t always follow the rules and his new partner that doesn’t quite trust him. You’ve got your tough female cop, your wisecracking supporting cop and a disapproving captain. The only thing that sets it apart is Katrina so they use that to the full extent they can, which can make it a little tough to handle.

It probably doesn’t help that the episode opens by revisiting that time and showing us people suffering and begging for help. And even though we have no idea who these characters are yet, our heart aches when we see Charlie get in his car and drive away. We can almost understand why he did.

The show is shot on location in New Orleans, so every dilapidated house you see is an actual dilapidated house. It’s enough to make you sick to your stomach. One house is spray painted with the words, “Fix everything my a--!”

And when the bad guys try to scare Marlon and his family by running water into their house, it was almost more than I could handle. I know it’s only a television show, but Katrina was real and that gives the show an uncomfortable feel that’s hard to shake.

“K-Ville” does manage to throw in a pretty good twist at the end that should add a little spice, but I’m afraid I won’t be there to see it.

It’s just too soon...

You can watch the season premiere of “K-Ville” at www.fox.com/kville.

“K-Ville” premieres Monday, September 17th at 9 p.m. on FOX…