The initial premise of L.A.’s Finest is two hard-edged female cops kicking ass and taking names in the City of Angels. Hard-drinking, hard-loving, hard-working, busting heads and kicking butt, all while giving each other a hard time. One black, one white, one street, one almost a soccer mom. This isn’t Cagney and Lacey, more like Lethal Weapon with women.
What do you need to make it work? Gravitas in the main actors.
First up is the white soccer mom who can flip people around and shoot up a store, all while cracking jokes. Jessica Alba plays Nancy McKenna. I like Alba, I do. Even as Storm in the Fantastic Four. Not as much as I loved her as butt-kicking Max on Dark Angel though. There, she was young but the moves gave her an edgy feel to her. Here? She’s a caricature. It seems almost like a comedy, not an action show. Her husband as a prosecutor is fine, but nothing to write home about, while her daughter steals every scene she’s in (Sophie Reynolds, hope to see you again some time!).
Her partner, the black street gal, is former DEA with a secret (she was captured and tortured, and she’s on the hunt for her bad guy). Gabrielle Union plays Sydney Burnett, who sleeps with anything that moves (she even has “to go” cups for them to take their coffee with them the next morning). And like Alba, she has a wisecracking grin on her face most of the episode.
And it is hard to get a handle on the show. Is it supposed to be a comedy? Because it isn’t funny. Is it supposed to be a drama? Because it isn’t serious. Is it supposed to be good? Well…
Pilots are notorious for being uneven, mostly as the actors haven’t found their groove yet. But this show? I felt like I was almost watching a spoof of every bad show with gung-ho cops. And what did I say they need? Gravitas. What don’t they have? Anything worth holding your attention.
Even in a really scary take-down scene, I never felt any tension. Nada. Zip. There was nothing invested because there was nothing to invest IN. Pass. And I’m predicting CANCELLATION.