Ironside

Season 1 Episode 1

Pilot

14
Aired Wednesday 10:00 PM Oct 02, 2013 on NBC
7.3
out of 10
User Rating
30 votes
2

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • a few weaknesses, but maybe not too bad.

    7.5
    I do agree the W/C seems to not make much difference in his life. And there are oops moments.



    I am not crazy about a few things. The romances. So what. The flashbacks. Tiresome rather quickly. The anguished ex-partner. Not contributing to a cohesive case/detective story. And why must we see cops beating up on criminals. It is not legal.



    What I like. Blair Underwood plays the role with passion and aggression. The second in command, Holly. I like her. The two big young men. The play well with each other. Great chemistry. The cases, not too shabby.



    What I don't need at all. The Wheelchair. Sorry. If there is going to be a wheelchair bound detective in the field, it doesn't do anyone any credit refusing to show honest limitations. He can't have such physical domination without the necessary leverage.



    Don't get me wrong the parts I like so far outweigh the parts I don't. So I'll keep watching for now.

    moreless
  • If the wheelchair makes no difference to his life, then Ironside may as well not be in the chair.

    5.0
    In this pilot episode we only saw two instances where being in the wheelchair had any bearing on Ironside's life, career or attitude to the world.



    The first was his emotional outburst to the memory of the trauma that happened to him.



    The second was when he spotted the gun in the apartment the police were searching, because as he says, he "has a different view of the world". Though why able-bodied officers wouldn't search under the cushions of a couch, unless someone who sees at a child's eye level pointed it out to them, is rather strange.



    The rest of the time we see that being limited to a wheelchair has little or no effect on Ironside's relationship with the world, and he carries on his investigations with business as usual.



    In point of fact, the first intro we have of our intrepid hero is him rolling up to the back seat of a stationary car, then next instance, he is sitting in the back seat with the suspect. We see no struggle with dead unresponsive legs.



    In the very last scene of the episode, he approaches his apartment to find the girl he is seeing waiting for him. This poignant moment is disrupted for me because all I can think is, there's no ramp to his front door; how does he get up the stairs into the building.



    The thing that makes Ironside different to other TV detectives is that he is in a wheelchair, yet the writers and producers seem to go to length to ignore this fact.



    If we aren't going to see him struggle with the difficulties, let alone the adversities, of his condition, the character may as well be as able-bodied as everyone else.



    No matter how much he wants business-as-usual, Ironside is not "normal", and we will need to see him deal with this. Producers please hire a paraplegic writer, or at least a handicapped consultant, to show a realistic portrayal of a paraplegic man trying to get on with life, let alone deal successfully with a high pressure, demanding job, requiring him, it seems, to be in the field, rather than directing from a desk.



    The second disappointment of this episode was that it didn't live up to expectation. I expected a detective, handicapped or no, who was a strategist, who used his brains to solve crimes, to co-ordinate and lead a team who would be his "legs" for him.



    Yet the first intro of him is him in the back seat of a car torturing a suspect to get information from him. No brain power required. Sure, the show creators want to show us that in this detective we have a cop who is willing to bend, even break, the rules to achieve Justice.



    But, hey, guess what, so is every other detective on TV at the moment.



    Yet, detectives who use their brains, since Goren from LAW & ORDER CI, have been few and far between. Even then, those who have been solving crimes on our screens each week, using deductive reasoning, astute understand of people and motivations, and insightful observations, have not been cops, but civilian consultants:



    Like Sherlock from ELEMENTARY; or

    Jane in THE MENTALIST;

    Castle even, from CASTLE; or

    Lightman from the much missed LIE TO ME;

    Spencer in PSYCH; and even

    Brennan and her team in BONES.



    But no cops. The smart detective is sorely missed from our televisions.



    Now admittedly, Ironside reveals at the end of the episode that he had worked out all along that the victim had indeed committed suicide. Fantastic! Impressive even, this is what I'm talking about. If only we had seen this side of Ironside earlier, so that it doesn't appear as an aberration to his true character.



    He even withheld this deduction, claiming it was murder, so that he could investigate the why, so that he could ensure that the perps who led to the victim becoming so despondent that she felt she had nothing left to live for, were punished.



    Again, fantastic, kudos; he doesn't just say, "it was suicide" and close the case, he concocts a way to end up catching the bad guys who caused this poor girl to kill herself. Points to Ironside



    And yet, he lied to his team and to his bosses. He withheld his accurate deduction, then outright lying to those who trust him said it was murder in order to manipulate his team into investigating the case as a murder.



    He could just as easily, even earlier, have told the team the truth, pointing out that he believed that there was more to it than just a suicide, and asked his team for their trust and help. But no, not to be.



    And none of the team turns around and says, "you lied to us, and played us". None of his team actually seems smart enough to have picked up that they were lied to by their leader, in order for them to act the way he wanted.



    This does not bode well for a supposedly great leader of a productive, successful team.



    The expectation of an astute by-the-book, handicapped leader with a brilliant mind to make up for his physical shortcoming, in command of a team of smart, loyal avengers, who under his co-ordination and direction, his leadership, solve crimes, right wrongs, ensuring that the victims get justice, and the villains get punishment, this team, is a long way from appearing in this incarnation of IRONSIDE.moreless

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