It's a quirky drama. It's a comedy. It's a floor wax. It's a dessert topping...OK- it's both.
I guess you just can't have a single camera comedy, shot on location, and presented sans laugh track- and expect it to go far. But, oh how I had hoped.
Everything about Bakersfield PD was 'just right'. The characters were broadly drawn as archetypes, but not so much so that they didn't also ring true as people. The jabs at small town police work were also balanced with some true professionalism. There is a genuine sense of affection here by the creators of the show towards the characters and the town, all the while doing a bit of a parody.
Each show also had some genuinely
memorable 'moments'- the work of great writing for sure, but mostly due to some exceptional acting. These guys were always in the moment- reacting to what was going on around them, rather than just reciting lines- and the camera always seemed to be in the right spot to capture something special.
I don't think it's an easy thing to get the tone correct on a show like this, but Bakersfield PD had it from the beginning. I guess it is a good thing that they just laid it to rest rather than tinker with the concept. At least we can appreciate what we have.