Posted by: mikecane | April 11, 2009

The Unusuals Season 1 Episode 1


ABC-TV debuted a highly-hyped show called The Unusuals this past Wednesday. Although I hardly watch TV, I found out about it by overhearing a promo on ABC in another room. It sent me running to the set because I went WTF?

I then saw a promo on YouTube and after mentioning it in a tweet, I was suddenly Followed by an account for the series itself!


What did I think of it? Should you watch it?

First, the long list of opening credits:



















This is a seriously weird series.

The department is a collection of misfits who handle misfit cases.

One of them is about a dead cat.


It turns out there’s …


… a cat serial killer on the loose!


A very unusual lie-detector is used. It made me wonder if creator/writer Noah Hawley had read the same news story I had of cops who used a colander as a lie-detector!

There’s a lot going on in this first episode. The primary story is one of the detectives being murdered. And that leads to a possible department-wide scandal, for the detective was keeping files on his fellow cops. Why?

One of the cops seems to be dirty outright — but in what exact way? And what’s his connection to his murdered colleague?

Everyone in the department has a secret too. We get three of them revealed here. But I’m sure there are more to come. Such as this one —


— what’s an astronaut suit doing in his office?!!?

There are some lines of dialogue that made me laugh out loud. “Wanton acts of teenagery” was one. Others I won’t spoil by quoting. But there are lots of unexpected lines that crackle.

There’s also unfortunately bad green screen too:


Sorry, that one was so egregiously obvious that I had to give it a kick.

It’s not just the cases that are weird. There are also weird events that happen. Like this:


— which I won’t spoil further.

There is humor here, but I wouldn’t call it comedy (as one reviewer did). The humor stems from the entire premise of a bunch of misfit cops handling misfit cases. None of the edges are going to line up except in ways that look funny.

And then there is kick-ass cop stuff too.

And just when you think the mixture of humor and action is strange enough, it all ends with a farewell scene that taps into tragedy. A scene that shows a depth of affection for police I don’t think I’ve seen on TV in ages.


Another series that was hugely-hyped was Dollhouse on Fox. Who didn’t want to see it? It was created by Joss Whedon of Firefly, for god’s sake! But everyone who Followed me on Twitter at the time saw that I hated the first episode and didn’t want to go on to the second. I gave that series I think three episodes and then bailed (it’s recently been canceled by Fox).

I’m very hard to please.

So will I be watching the next episode of The Unusuals?

Hell yes!

Any if you missed the first one, put some of your fat bandwidth at work to good use and watch it at ABC’s website! (Warning: ABC wants you to download a player to see repeats. That’s a dumb move. But this one is worth it. Go!)