Having originally watched this because I thought it was the new David Simon (The Wire) show I quickly clicked that it wasn't. This pilot which is only now broadcasting on channel 5 in the UK can't decide if it wants to be serious drama or police procedural.
Two years after Hurricane Katrina the community in New Orleans has still not fully recovered, people are moving away and those that are left are stuck in a city desperate and plagued by ever increasing crime. The main character Marlin is a cop and stuck in the middle of this with a wife who doesn't want to bring their kid up in the enviroment and a new mysterious partner.
At this point the cop side is completely unsatisfying and brings little to the show. One interesting aspect of the bad guy though was that she wanted to get back at the community for her brother's death. This is a motive that although presented as contrived matched the overall theme of a community rebuilding after a disaster. Less said about the gun toting second baddie the better though. Casino owner but very handy with a semi auto in broad daylight, yeah right, utter rubbish. The ex-partner sub-plot was so not used to potential either. Lets hope he may end up as a snitch and not a cop again.
What saves this show is the human drama and the theme of rebuilding after a disater. Hopefully this will feature more prominently as the show progresses. I enjoyed Marlin's relationship with his daughter and the idea that his wife didn't want to live in New Orleans anymore. The idea that his partner is an escaped con could be interesting as well. I liked the shots of a New Orleans not given the funding to rebuild itself and the notion that people (the voodoo shop owner)were adpting to survive. Lets hope they don't waste the potential of this backdrop.
Shame it was cancelled a few years back but for the rest of the season if they can balance the dramatic aspects and the police procedural to not feel like two different shows it could work. And! Don't waste the potential of the backdrop.
FYI: The David Simon show I thought this was is called 'Treme'. Hopefully in the UK soon.