Catching Up with the Renners: The Unusuals

So, I owe you guys a review, and since I’m currently high on Vin Santo and thoroughly depressed after watching The Road (excellent, by the way, just very, very dark), I figure, what the heck. Let’s do it.

The Unusuals is a cop show based in New York City. According to the little ditty you iTunes lets you have for free, it’s partially inspired by other great cop shows such as Hill Street Blues. It stars Jeremy Renner as Det. Jason Walsh, whose partner gets himself perished in the first episode and who then gets saddled with Rookie Casey Shraeger (lovely Amber Tamblyn). Casey has the more or less official duty of figuring out people’s secrets; just in case you’re really thick, her supervisor sticks her with a photo of Walsh and a fitting note at the end of the first episode.

Other cop couples include Adam Goldberg and Harold Perrineau -who also co-starred with Mr Renner in 28 Weeks Later- as Detectives Eric Delahoy and Leo Banks and Joshua Close as Det. Henry Cole and Monique Gabriela Curnen as Det. Allison Beaumont, who’s not only Cole’s partner but Walsh’s love interest. Kai Lennox gets to play stick-in-the-mud, overachieving Det. Eddie Alvarez who likes to talk about himself in the third person but isn’t really a bad guy, only feels inadequate to measure up to his preppy wife’s expectations.

As far as secrets are concerned, nobody gets to keep theirs for too long: Delahoy has a brain tumor he refuses to deal with, Banks is scared about dying now that he’s turned 42, Cole isn’t who he pretends to be, and Beaumont has troubles from the past that turn into financial woes in the present. Add to this the fact that Casey comes from money but doesn’t want anyone to find out, a task that seems difficult considering that Alvarez’s wife went to school with her and now works for the District Attorney’s office.

Confused yet? Yup, so was I. After the first episode, your head is spinning faster than a hummingbird can flap its wings. Only based on this, I would have given it a rating of “WTF” and moved on to something more coherent. Luckily, the nutty pace slows down somewhat for the following episodes. Tentative story arcs are developed, and by the end of the last episode, it even feels as if the writers slipped in a few really good stories. The Unusuals wasn’t all that unusual, but it’s too bad anyway that it didn’t get a better shot at development, because there certainly was a lot of potential there.

Favorite Renner moment: well, there’s a few to choose from, and if it comes to crude ogling, there is a scene with very little clothing. For some reason, the one I like best, though, is the one where we meet Det. Walsh in his diner making some outlandish dish for a vegetarian customer whom he is then forced to kick out when it’s time to go on duty. There’s something about a man slapping a badge and a gun on the counter and telling you to get out… 🙂 Best line, though: Casey refers to Walsh as Beaumont’s boyfriend to which he smugly replies, “twelve-year-olds have boyfriends, I’m her man!”

So, there you have it. I have also seen but not reviewed Dahmer and Neo Ned, and chances are, you won’t get a new review until after The Town comes out. That leaves me to say thanks to Jeremy Renner for being such a versatile actor who’s enjoyable on so many levels. Incidentally, I got to watch some great flicks over again and even read a good book in the process of catching up with the Renners. Now, if only Ms Cearley would go back to Twitter…

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