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The Telefile
Crossing Lines: Yet Another Mediocre Cop Drama

After watching the two-hour pilot of this show, I've decided that I've seen enough of it to last me a lifetime. I was hoping for more as I really like William Fichtner (particularly his Prison Break stint) and Donald Sutherland. So while this show isn't really bad per se, it's just not at all compelling. I only watched the second half, thinking that this might be a slow-burn like The Killing, but it seems to boil down to a procedural (with a few ongoing personal vengeance storylines) that really lacks any spark. At times it reminded me of The Breakout Kings (except with law enforcement officials instead of cons), but without any sense of humor. Guess there's a reason it's premiering in the middle of summer with hardly any promotion leading up to it.

Louis (Marc Lavoine) has decided to start a multi-national organization with cops from around the world (well, mostly Europe and America) and is assembling a team of people each with their own skills. They even cracked a Justice League "joke" but it was extremely lame. Each member of the team has a unique trait. Carl (Fichtner) seems to be like The Mentalist, with an ability to read people and put pieces together. There are others on the team who are good with tech, or really good at remembering things. There's a lot of creative visualization (some done via hallucinations and/or memories) or via hologrammed crime scenes, which seem to be around solely to make the show look cutting edge. But the holographic crime-scene stuff seems like something Angela on Bones has been doing for ages.

In the first episode, the case got pretty personal, when one of the team's own was kidnapped and almost killed, but I found it hard to care. We'd only just met this woman and I hadn't even learned her name yet. I had zero emotional investment on whether she'd make it out alive. Similarly the hints of backstory about why Fichtner left the NYPD after he got shot in the hand and is now working as a janitor at a carnival in Europe (yes, really) didn't matter much at all to me. I'd like to have a reason to pay attention.

And while Fichtner and the rest of the team were trying to trap a globe-trotting serial killer with diplomatic immunity, Louis was off with Michel Dorn (Sutherland) trying to keep their group intact with approval from the powers the be. Political drama, with only Sutherland coming out of the buildings to report the findings of the committee. Guess they couldn't afford to cast a big group for a debate. Everything seemed like a logistical nightmare, as they travel what seem like long distances in what could be the span of days or even hours. Time passes super strangely on this show -- it could use a 24-style clock. And maybe Sutherland's son Kiefer to contribute some awesome action while they are at it. Some sunshine would've been nice, too. It was so bleak visually, and our eyes have gotten used to the over-saturated summer colors of Hannibal and Royal Pains that it took a moment to adjust.

If you are looking for a gray, often depressing, crime show, I'd go with The Killing. At least there you can get invested in the characters. You may hate them and hope they die, but you'll be invested nonetheless.

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