If there is a network that knows cop shows, it’s CBS. They may as well be the Cop Broadcasting Station, in between “CSI,” “Criminal Minds,” “NCIS,” “Elementary,” and more. “Battle Creek” is one of the first original series to come in a little while, and it actually originates from a Vince Gilligan script that existed before “Breaking Bad” hit it big.
Let it be known, though, that this is actually more of a David Shore show in the long-term than a Gilligan one, as he is handling most of the day-to-day duties. regardless of who is running it, one fact remains the same: This was a pretty strong premiere. We’re not going to tell you that this reinvented an entire genre or moved us, it was entertaining. We don’t expect much more from a show like this than getting a case, some fun moments, a few intense ones, and someone in handcuffs in the end.
The setting here is the moderately-sized town of Battle Creek, Michigan, a town full of bluffs and with an underfunded and rough police force. Detective Russ Agnew (Dean Winters) is trying to keep things afloat, but it’s not always easy. This is where Mitt Chamberlain (Josh Duhamel) enters the picture, and brings a very different sort of perspective into the town. He’s got big connections, is experienced in high-profile cases, and he knows what to say and do. Strangely, he’s also fine with being in the town, or at least find enough to be a big asset.
In between the music and the dialogue (which contained a few fish-out-of-water references for Mitt), the tone was set here as something lighter than an “NCIS,” but also more serious than a “Psych.” We’d put it around the same level of “Castle,” though it probably will not go as silly as that show does sometimes.
As a whole, we mostly have to say that we’re thrilled that this show is bringing something new to the CBS lineup in terms of energy. Maybe it doesn’t turn out to be a hit, but it is one of the rare new crime shows that didn’t force you to wait before it started to become the show it was meant to be. That is rare, and that has us excited for the future. A very strong start. Grade: B+.
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