Saturday, March 8, 2008

New Amsterdam: Golden Boy

A boy suffocates to death inside a plastic bag and the viewing audience gets to see it. Fun!

One thing I like about this show is that after hundreds of years, Amsterdam has a wealth of knowledge about everything else in New York, except love. He thinks he knows what it is, but then something else turns up that throws him all off. The fact that he's a demi-immortal, but doesn't know everything about life, is a nice little touch.

The recap: A young man is killed during a game of erotic suffocation. (Yeah...) The case leads to an elite private school, where Dead guy was kicked off of track and had an affair with the coach's wife, also a teacher at the school. Teacher then killed her husband, because she really liked doing the nasty with the Dead guy, but covered it up as a suicide. Amsterdam noticed that the suicide note was forged, so he forged a letter to get a confession from the teacher. Which, is tricky, legally? Maybe? I don't know. Anyhow, case closed.

Meanwhile, we found out that Amsterdam's bartend buddy, Omar, is actually his son. And this week's flashbacks are about John's love affair with a black woman, which did not go over well in 1940. At the end of the episode, John gives his son more information about his mom, and Omar gives his dad the identity of "the one" in the subway station.

What worked: Zuleikha Robinson and her character, Eva, were great this week. She played off Amsterdam perfectly, was not intimidated, nor tried to be intimidating to her partner. She was cool, professional and just a little pushy - when in the interrogation room. If they could cast Michelle Rodriguez as her sister (named Ana-Lucia Ortez?), I would be in tough-cop-heaven. Another element that worked: the opening credits. They were cool, refreshing and fun to watch.

What didn't work: In the "previouslies," they showed a clip of Amsterdam saying "I'm an alcoholic." But then didn't do anything with that! What's up, show? Also, while I appreciate the occasional film-nor approaches that the show makes, it needs to tone down the extreme camera tilts. They are cool once in a while. But not often. Lastly, the show could use some color for current day NYC. The desaturated pallet is "edgy," but also sometimes "boring."

Next episode: On Monday at 9 (the show's new regular time spot), Amsterdam investigates some suspicious claims made by a war vet, played by Orlando Jones.

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