The Job (2001)
Genre: Comedy Crime Series
Starring: Denis Leary (The Ref; Ice Age), Lenny Clarke (Snitch; "Rescue Me")
Created By: Denis Leary, Peter Tolan ("Rescue Me")
Overview: This detective police comedy does include the co-workers and cops at the police station, but tends to stay focused on Mike's vices, his wife and girlfriend, oh and the occasional case... right.
Acting: The series begins with the obvious gang: the partner with the overbearing wife, the immature girlfriend, the rookie gopher cops, and the big, fat, lazy, truly comedic comic relief. As the series progresses, they just get better. There's an episode with Elizabeth Hurley, and another one with Gina Gershon too. Look, if you even like Denis Leary a LITTLE you'll really enjoy this. My girlfriend was none too impressed when I brought this home, but she watched every single episode with me, cause they're just that good.
Cinematography: Nothing special, but what more would you expect from television? No attempts at high-art, no rule of thirds or even that ultra-hip urban shaky-cam with cranked-out grain filters. Nope, just a static cam with a really believable set, and the occasional on-location shots. Yep, standard. Nothing to see here. Nope. More along people, move along.
Script: "What do I tell my wife if I ate the soup with the head in it?"
"You say, 'Honey, I hope you're not making Ballerina Head for dinner... because that's what I had for LUNCH.' " - Frank and Tommy
It seems that every episode has lines to walk away with. There is a steady stream of bold, laugh-out-loud jokes combined with that 'you're getting in too deep' situational comedy. Add an overall quirky character undercurrent, and you might just be as happy as I was (if you're lucky). The best dynamic would have to be Frank and his partner Tommy. Every episode they cracked me up.
Plot: I take back what I put in the Overview. There's really no case following all season. There's a few 'on the job' moments like stakeouts and such, but somehow Mike and Pip end up both leaving the car. Of course the season/series ends with this big 'hope you keep us alive' cliffhanger, but that's just the way television goes sometimes. As with most series of its genre, there is the occasional reference to an event that happened in a previous episode, but it's made in that stand alone kind of way that means you enjoy any of them without having seen the rest.
Mood: Imagine The Shield, if you've ever seen it. This also has corruption, cheating on spouses and putting personal matters before police work. Now get rid of the politics, the drama and the whole 'job' side of things, toss in stories about a 'whack palace', cops dumping bodies on other precincts' jurisdictions cause they don't want the work, and about a bucketful of extra laughs. It's fun, an adult-silly.
Aftertaste: Am I disappointed that there's no Season 2? Definitely, but it's nice going into a Series knowing there's no more, you can bolster yourself for the cliff-hangers. You may already know that Denis Leary's next project became "Rescue Me", another NYC Public Service Comedy Series, this time about firefighters. With a lot more drama and a couple people from this show, it's obvious there was a transition period until he was part of something that meshed. Three Seasons in so far and still going strong.