Welcome to the world of COVID TV where networks are scraping up whatever they can find in order to fill timeslots. This week from the dumpster, FOX has dusted off L.A.’s Finest, a series that premiered as a “Spectrum Original” for the Spectrum Network in May of 2019. Though widely panned by critics (a 7% “rotten” review can be found on Rotten Tomatoes) the show actually got a second season which premiered earlier this month. For those who do not have access to the Spectrum Network, the first season of the show began airing on FOX Monday night. And they’re right. It’s awful.
The comedy/drama crime series created by Brandon Margolis and Brandon Sonnier is technically a sequel to the Jerry Bruckheimer Bad Boys movie franchise where Gabrielle Union reprises her role as Syd Burnett (The sister of Marcus Burnett). The ex-DEA agent from Miami is now working as a detective for the Los Angeles Police Department. The show doesn’t give any details on this woman and expects the viewer to have seen Bad Boys 2 to understand who she is I guess. She is a complicated woman who apparently likes to sleep with strangers at night and then kick them out of her life the next morning. Syd also has some daddy issues as Ernie Hudson shows up playing her estranged dad and ex-LAPD cop, Joseph Vaughn in a scene that doesn’t really explain anything about these two except the there is some bad blood between them.
Syd’s parter is the seemingly happily married Nancy McKenna (Jessica Alba) who is married to Dr. Patrick McKenna (Ryan McPartlin) a Los Angeles district attorney and stepmother to surly teenager Izzy McKenna (Sophie Reynolds). The two women comically banter back and forth about Syd bailing out on “family book club night” while there is a robery at a local mini mart. In fact, there is a lot of comic bantering between characters in this show. It’s as if there is all of the characters are the same person. They all have the same sense of humor, which isn’t very funny. No one takes anyone else seriously, which can be cute in small doses, but when nobody cares, why should I?
While the action is actually a lot of fun to watch in the pilot episode, the story is a mess. The main story begins when a car is driving down the street out of control hitting parked cars and finally crashing into a water truck. Turns out the driver is a little boy trying to get his babysitter to the hospital. She has been shot. Despite the fact that the boy becomes basically mute because of shock between the time of the accident and when Syd and Nancy arrive on the scene, after a few Skittles, he opens right up. I’m assuming that the boy is about ten years old, but the writers give him lines as if he was five. And even he has the same stupid sense of humor of the others.
From there, I’m not really sure what happens. It’s as if the FOX cut out some key scenes from the Spectrum airing in hopes that it would still make sense. The female cops vow to not keep secrets from each other, but of course they do. They say and do things that real cops would never say or do and there are plenty of cliché lines uttered like “It’s doesn’t get any more real than this.” Some “tender” moments feel super-forced and worst of all, L.A.’s Finest doesn’t give you any reason to care about these two. Plus with all of the bad publicity that police have been getting in recent months, despite its name, this show doesn’t do anything to rectify that.
L.A.’s Finest airs on Mondays at 8 p.m. on Fox.
Main Image: Jessica Alba and Gabrielle Union. (Fox)
I write about arts and entertainment in the greater Seattle area.