Pilot Watch: 'Chase'
by Joel Keller, posted Jul 21st 2010 1:04PM
From now through August, we're going to be taking a quick look at the fall and mid-season pilots that the networks sent to critics after their upfront presentations.
Keep in mind that in each case, our opinions are based on a pilot that could be completely recast and reworked between now and the fall.
Timeslot: Mondays, 10PM ET
The lowdown: The job of a U.S. Marshal is to chase down fugitives. And Houston-based Marshal Annie Frost (Kelli Giddish), is as good as anyone at doing that. She's a Texas native with a checkered background; both aspects of her life allow her to get in the heads of the convicts that try to run through the Lone Star state. Aided by a crack team of Marshals with their own special skills, Frost is determined to keep violent criminals from either doing more harm or running for the border.
What we're saying: While I was watching this pilot, unaware of who produced it, I thought to myself, "This feels like a Jerry Bruckheimer show." Sure enough, the Bruckheimer vanity card popped up at the end of the episode, and it made what I saw to that point make a lot more sense. It was a straight-up procedural, something NBC hasn't done a lot of lately. All the hallmarks of a Bruckheimer classic are there: You're dropped in the middle of a case, the details of the team's lives only come out in nuggets that apply to the action at hand, there's a lot of chases, a lot of people poking gentle fun of each other, and lots of innuendo between the sexes.
It works for the most part, because it adheres pretty closely to the Bruckheimer formula that's minted money for the last decade. The story is clear, the action is focused and easy to follow, and the tension runs high. Some of the acting, especially from Giddish, is a bit stiff; Giddish is a Georgia native trying to affect a Texas drawl, and is concentrating on that so much she sometimes forgets to act, emote, or even sound coherent. But that can work itself out over time. Cole Hauser is the best of the remaining team, playing Jimmy, who has enough of a rapport with Annie that he calls her "Boots," after the cowboy footwear she chooses to wear -- and chase crooks in.
Here's a preview:
Tell us what you think. Has Bruckheimer spread his procedural magic to the Peacock network?