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  • Robert Lynch

Review – The Rookie


The Rookie is TV show produced for ABC in America. It stars Nathan Fillion, playing John Nolan, who at 45 years old has decided to ‘sea change’ his life and become a policeman in the LAPD. Nolan and two other rookies, played by Titus Makin Jr and Melissa O’Neil, struggle to earn their place amongst the LAPD.

I will admit to having a fascination with police procedurals and detective stories at the moment, as I’m preparing to lay down the season arc for Frank Mason, but The Rookie blew me away.

I have watched many shows and movies because it starred an actor I recognise. This can be a truly disastrous strategy sometimes, like when I watched ‘Suing the Devil’ because Malcolm McDowell was in it (that movie is a true abomination, the less said about it, the better). But it can also be a winning strategy, like when I watched Firefly, Dr Horrible’s sing-a-long blog, or Castle because Nathan Fillion was in it (Having originally discovered him on Two Guys, a Girl, and a Pizza Place).

The first episode really impressed me. The strengths and flaws of the majority of the characters are established, minor heels set up, ally’s and tools set up, and the motivation of the main characters is front and centre.

Just because the pilot was good doesn’t mean the main show will be, but The Rookie didn’t let me down. The show eases into building up the characters and builds a solid foundation so that it can spend an episode grabbing you emotionally and slapping you around.

Episode 8 is my favourite episode of the season. With seven episodes establishing who Nolan is, this episode gives the character a story that threatens to destroy him. His journey through that episode, and it’s follow up in episode 9, is a great emotional journey for both the character and the audience.

For the same reason, episode 16 again grabs you buy the feels and throws you out a window. For a show with so few episodes to have established such a strong emotional link with its audience is a testament to how strong the writing, acting, and production is.

I am eager to see what the next episode will bring and looking forward to the whole second season.

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