This show was an oasis, while it wasn't big production stuff like Boardwalk Empire, Walking Dead or Borgias that are so luscious and over the top, it also wasn't the tasteless generic cop show procedurals where tonight's guest star is the predictable killer. It was just unique enough to enjoy each new episode but without the cookie cutter murder intro, wise cracking detective and cut to lame show intro. Even the sedate intro of this show was unique and not bombastic or in the viewers face.
It probably has real cops wincing and complaining versus the reality but the show was an odyssey for the main character Clark. All personal lives in other cop shows seem ad hoc, this however seemed fully fleshed out. All the actors themselves were "golden" his interactions with his sister or his rehab released Mother broke my heart consistently. Michael Madsen just shows up as the father which had me wanting to tune in, now he's going to get a reputation for cancelling shows like the Mob Doctor :-). Loved Clark's earnestness and bravery that can't help shine in his rivalry with a very human Aroyo and how his success benefits and hinders him with those that surround him.
The greatest triumph of this show is the surprise contrast between the past and future, I'm curious about this very sober commissioner who limps about, plays chess with the incarcerated former mayor and reflects before making bold determinations for the benefit of "his house". Truly a shame!