Hey TV.com, Should I Watch Golden Boy?

By Tim Surette

Feb 25, 2013

Stop me if you've heard this one before: CBS is about to debut a new police procedural! This time it's called Golden Boy , and it's one of the few midseason entries The Eye has planned for this half of the TV season. But c'mon, is it another run-of-the-mill CBS cop show or is it the next mind-blowingly awesome genre-bending water-cooler-crowding living-room-couch-seatbelt-needing SUPER TV ART PIECE? Well, pal, I've seen the first two episodes and I'm about to answer some of those questions. Here we go!

What is Golden Boy ?

The hour-long drama centers on Walter William Clark, Jr. ( Bedlam 's Theo James, another Brit trying to crack the U.S.), a self-made man from a rough background who is shooting up the ranks of the New York Police Department faster than a precinct captain can take down a glazed donut (cop humor!). In fact, we know that in seven years he'll be the youngest police commissioner in the history of the NYPD because the pilot tells us that right in the beginning! Yup, Golden Boy shows us the end (seven years later) before it shows us the boring middle point, and that's part of its gimmick. In the future, Clark is police chief and explaining how he got there. In the past, where we spend the bulk of our time, he's a beat cop who just got promoted to detective. So I guess that makes it kind of like How I Met Your Police Commissioner ?

Who created Golden Boy ?

Nicholas Wootton, who previously wrote and produced some serious copper shows like N.Y.P.D. Blue and Law & Order , as well as Chuck . Prolific producer Greg Berlanti ( No Ordinary Family , Dirty Sexy Money , Arrow ) is also on board.

When does Golden Boy premiere?

Golden Boy debuts in a special slot on Tuesday, February 26 at 10pm on CBS. Then it'll air Episode 2 on Tuesday, March 5 before moving to Fridays at 9pm (right in front of Blue Bloods ) on March 8.

What audience is Golden Boy going for?

CBS isn't rocking the boat too hard here, delivering a procedural that will keep its preinstalled audience happy. But there is a bit of trickery at play, designed to make Golden Boy slightly more than what you're used to, and there's also a heavy character-driven part of the series that's trying to keep pace with cable dramas, draw in younger viewers, and stock trophy cases with awards. If you can't get enough of, "FREEZE! This is the police!" then this will be right up your alley.

Tell me about some good parts!

It's slightly more than a procedural, with some opportunity for some great characterization if the show goes where I hope it goes with Clark and the other detectives (please go there, show!). Some of the action scenes are very solid, and the show knows how to do high-intensity very well. And the gimmick about jumping forward seven years in the future has lots of potential if it's used right. If the first two episodes are any indication, it looks like each season will move in a linear fashion. But could they surprise us and jump around across the timeline? The possibility for time travel is there (though it might be a bit much for CBS to go very far with it). Also, can Chi McBride be in every television show? The man is awesome, and he's his usual fantastic self in Golden Boy as Clark's mentor and partner. It's nice to see Holt McCallany ( Lights Out ) back on TV as well.

And what isn't as good?

Here's the thing about Clark: He's kind of a dick. His drive and determination are admirable, but he isn't exactly happy-fun-times to hang out with for an hour. But that's not necessarily a deal-breaker because Clark the Dick is the character the show wants to explore. He's not a nice guy, but we're supposed to root for him anyway. And because we spend time in the future we know the fates of some of the characters in the past. Depending on your particular tastes, that could ruin the surprise. Aside from the gimmick and a larger focus on character, Golden Boy is fairly standard as far as police procedurals go.

So what's the verdict? Watch or don't watch?

This is one to keep an eye on, so if you're a fan of the genre, give it a look with medium expectations. At worst, it's a decent network procedural that echoes Southland but in the Big Apple. At best, it uses its time-jumping technique to great effect and really brings its characters to life, possibly reshaping the police drama.

Can I see a trailer?

Hmmm... okay.

What beverage should I pair with Golden Boy ?

Vodka. Rocks. And be mean about it.

Golden Boy premieres Tuesday, February 26 at 10pm on CBS.

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  • bmoshier Mar 06, 2013

    Two thoughts:

    1) "Golden Boy" and "Blue Bloods" on the same night?!!
    2) Allow the present to catch up to the future and then continue the Commissioner Clark story . . .

    So, the details:

    I find the CBS Friday line up very interesting. They're going to have two series side by side about the same job / office at the same time.

    Question: Has anytime similar ever happened before in television history?

    Now, I'm wondering why the NYPD Commissioner job is such a popular position to have two series at the same time and back to back. hmm, I'm also wondering if there is or if there is going to be a relationship between the two universes / story lines.

    I know the current Police Commissioner in Golden Boy is not Frank Regan. But, OH, boy what a great idea / twist if the same character / actor was on both series at the same time!!!! Obviously, this isn't the case so, so sad, your Dad.

    This fact, though, doesn't mean the two series couldn't have a relationship, as I suspect there was one or more Commissioners between Pop and Frank's term, but I'm not sure. Also I suspect there would be one or more Commissioners between Frank and Jamie (or Danny). In any case, this article is about Golden Boy and not Blue Bloods.

    Thought 2:

    BTW, I do really enjoy the flash forwards and it is what caught my eye and gets me to continue coming back. JUST A THOUGHT: I hope the writers will allow the present and future to catch up with one another at some point in the series. The series would continue in what is now the future (but then would be the present) and would be about his term as the NYPD Commissioner.

    Obviously, if the series is still popular enough to exist in "n" number years people will have an investment in the characters and any on-going plots / adventures / arc. Right, there isn't any reason we couldn't have an on-going plot / arc in the future at some point, instead of the future only being able / consisting of flash backs.

    This way the series has an obvious shelf life of whenever the ratings drop or CBS decides to drop police shows (as what happened with the popular Hogan's Heroes) and NOT whenever the present catches up with the future interview in episode one.

  • numberonecubsfa Mar 04, 2013

    The pilot certainly interested me enough to want to watch more, for all its standard feel. Hopefully it can break out and be really special.

  • emmairis Mar 02, 2013

    I really liked this one... and oooo the potential.... and yeah the guy's a dick but his "evil dog" is what's supposed to be intriguing right?

  • NormaRijker Feb 27, 2013

    Watched it and liked it. Pity that, judging from the picture on the desk of the present day Clark, his partner is going to die. Yep, I'm already sucked into this :-).

  • AprilFox Feb 27, 2013

    I really enjoyed the show. I felt it had the right chemistry with everyone and I would not compare it with any other show, that's unfair at best. I will continue to watch, I loved it.

  • LiseLotteDive Feb 27, 2013

    Golden Boy can't even begin to compare itself with Southland,,,bad bad Tim for doing such a comparison. Southland is up on top ALMOST side by side with Breaking Bad. Golden Boy is decent and I will keep watching.

  • Muderboy Feb 26, 2013

    Aw Hell, lets just bring back Human Target and be done with it. This show can't be any better than that and Chi McBride makes everything better, so I'll give it a go. But think about that Human Target thing, it was such a good show...

  • speedforce131 Feb 26, 2013

    Not gonna check it out. But the title gets me every time b/c it's the same title as an old anime and originally I thought was an American adaptation. Oh well. Too many procedurals for me. Going to keep it strictly to NCIS and Elementary.

  • GCCHumanBeing Feb 26, 2013

    Just watched the pilot and I'm really interested to see where this show goes! I originally took interest because of Chi (loved him on Human Target), but the other characters reeled me in. I see a lot of potential, and I'm hoping this can become the next Person of Interest (as in surprising, non-typical procedural)! I definitely be tuning in next Friday (though it'll conflict with my precious Grimm). Hoping good things are to come!

  • paintcan Feb 26, 2013

    This comment has been removed.

  • JetixMasterDan Feb 26, 2013

    Shouldn't be a problem considering tonight's slot is a 1 time thing. It moves to Friday's next week for its regular home.

  • Derpanos Feb 26, 2013

    Actually, I think it moves to Fridays on the third week, not the second. Although, it could change (and remain on Tuesdays) depending on its ratings.

  • paintcan Feb 26, 2013

    Thank you. I appreciate that information.

  • Muderboy Feb 26, 2013

    Friday? Friday!? Well we all know what that means and we shouldn't become too attached, I'm guessing...

  • Derpanos Feb 26, 2013

    Yep, it's almost like CBS is setting this up to fail...

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