Ironside: Pilot Review

Television once again returns to its back catalogue rather than coming up with a new idea. I’m not entirely sure of why they bothered for this. The sum total of what’s taken from the original series is the name and the one liner – “A police officer is shot and paralysed, but returns to the force”. I don’t know whether the title means enough to really justify the bother, certainly to me it didn’t inspire any strong feelings, but maybe in the US it’s a different matter and they thought it would be enough to buy them viewers.

There have been some pretty vitriolic reviews of this show, but I’m afraid my hopes of being able to craft my own witty takedown of it were foiled. It was certainly a long way from good, but its biggest crime was to smoothly sail straight on by every opportunity to do something interesting and instead headed straight for generic and cliché every time. Ironside could have been a complex character, dealing with his disability and the perception of others, but instead he’s just another obnoxious cop who’s “doing what needs to be done to keep the streets clean” while picking up pretty women and staring moodily out of windows at the rain. The fact that he’s in a wheelchair makes almost no difference. Maybe that in itself *is* the interesting comment on disability, that it makes no difference. Being in a wheelchair doesn’t make you interesting any more than not being in a wheelchair does.

His team follows the usual pattern, the brains, the brawn the sassy girl. His captain follows the usual pattern of hating the methods but loving the results and presumably driving himself to an aneurysm with the mental conflict. The case of the week, was pretty disposable and familiar from any other procedural out there.

It was just dull. Really boring. Maybe with time the show would have developed beyond the superficial introduction, but it was cancelled after just three episodes so we’ll never know.

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