APB Early Impressions

Originally posted to Facebook on 3/23/17

I know I’ve talked about it before, but I want to do a more thorough review of the tv show “APB” so far. Like always, I appreciate any and all feedback in regards to the show and my writing style. 

This first paragraph is just a copy paste of the premise from last time I wrote about it, but everything after will get into how the show has progressed: The show follows a billionaire industrialist engineer (totally not Tony Stark) who, after a tragic accident (again, not Tony Stark) decides to put his good looks, charm, and most importantly wealth and gadgetry towards helping the people of his city (ok, he’s basically a rip off of Tony Stark). But rather than building a suit like his clear inspiration did, this character decides (though tv hand-waving) to privatize a police district in a rough area of Chicago. Upgrading this squad with top notch gear and equipment, and giving it’s citizenry free access to the titular APB smartphone app, he sets off to clean up these streets. He uses several “inventions of the week” and his close partnership with one of the detectives who gives him lessons from how cops operate without resorting to high tech gadgets.

After two episodes I thought the show had a strong start and an engaging premise. It had good performances despite the occasional bout of cliche dialogue. Now, 7 episodes in, I stand by my initial assessment. The parts I like about the show (plots, performances) have continued to shine and even get better, while my complaints (dialogue mainly) have been getting ironed out. What’s really a testament to the show’s quality is that, in general, I am not a fan of procedurals. What makes a procedural shine for me is that it has to have strong, continually evolving characters which APB has in spades. In addition to the main characters Gideon Reeves (Justin Kirk) and Detective Theresa Murphy (Natalie Martinez) whose chemistry drives the show, the show is filled with a strong supporting cast that gets better each episode as they get more to do and start to have their characters solidified by the writing. While many have already gotten to stand out in various plot lines, the one I’m really looking forward to getting more attention is Gideon’s hardware engineer, Pete (played fantastically by veteran character actor Abraham Benrubi).

For me, this is already high up on my list of my favorite procedurals along with Psych, Monk, Castle, and Person of Interest (…maybe I like procedurals more than I thought). So far, they’ve kept the stories fresh and the tech interesting and cool. Already we’ve stepped out of the bounds of reality as far as the tech goes, but since the meat of the stories are well grounded and since the tech has always been a little bit too advanced for realism, it hasn’t been distracting or taken me out of the experience at all. Not to beat a dead horse, but the tech feels very Tony Stark. As in, it often has a somewhat plausible reason for working, but based on tech that is either completely fictional or well past anything that we are capable of at the moment. When it eventually goes too far (as all future tech stories do at some point), I hope that it is eased into over time so it’s not too jarring, or else that may be the beginning of the end for the show for me.

I’m hooked and looking forward to seeing what direction the show takes going forward. I recommend it if you are looking for an enjoyable, low impact show (in that it won’t be emotionally draining like Black Mirror) that has cool tech and fun characters.