Tuesday night brought the long-shelved premiere of New Amsterdam, FOX's dive into the hard-to-kill crime fighter genre.
The show was initially slated for last September, then put on hold as a mid-season replacement. With the Writer's Strike I cannot for the life of me figure why they waited so long, but I suspect it was to give Amsterdam an American Idol lead in.
Anyway, there's a new episode on tonight, and then it moves to Monday night at 9 for its regular slot, so I thought I'd give you a brief recap of the first ep in case you were interested.
So here's the deal: John Amsterdam is a New York City detective, long on go-it-his-own-way-itis, and short on lasting partners. He's got great instincts, but the rumor is he has a death wish.
The reason for said wish is that John Amsterdam.....CAN NOT DIE.
DUM DUM DUM!!!!!!!!!
About four hundred years ago John came to the New World (we see it in a flashback, which I'm sure we'll learn more about later). John stepped up to help a Native girl from being raped, and got a sword through the heart for his trouble.
Not so fast!
It turns out said Native girl was actually a priestess, and did a spell to not only bring John back to life, but ensure he will never die until--and I swear I am not making this up--he finds his own true love and their souls are wedded together.
If ever a guy needed motivation to stay single.....
Anyway, so John can't die, which makes him fascinated with death, and more likely to take chances on the job, etc. You can already see how that might play out. In the first episode John also gets a partner, a sassy latina with a chip on her shoulder. (Actually, if Hollywood ever makes a non-sassy latina with no chip, that'd be amazing.)
To be honest, the cop-stuff in the here and now was fairly routine, even dull. I hardly need to watch that. However, John solved this case (and presumably will others) by his vast knowledge of New York City, having been there so long. (In case you were wondering, New York used to be called New Amsterdam, hence the old/new title.)
John seems to be sort of hiding in plain sight, telling his new partner that he's had "609 girlfriends," which alone makes me think he's crazy. Another interesting plot point is when this old black guy(named Omar, the only one who knows the truth about John) gets into a jam with a bookie, John "makes" a piece of furniture that is immediately hailed as a famous antique and sold for sixty grand. Turns out John was the original artist way back when, and still knows how to make them. That was kind of cool.
Lastly, John has a heart-attack and dies early on (don't worry: death isn't permanent), but John later theorizes his heart attack came because he was in sudden proximity to "the one." The show seems to more than hint who that might be, but I'll leave it for now.
Look: normally when a show sits on the shelf that long it's not worth anything, and I can't say I was blown away by anything I saw. However: maybe it's the writer's strike or just the hint of spring, but I found myself open-minded. I enjoyed watching a Danish actor try to sound American. (Surprisingly well, unless you listen for it.) I enjoyed Omar. I enjoyed the flashbacks, and I even enjoyed the furniture, if only because I'm jealous, and Kaida has always wished I could make things with my hands.
Bottom line: If you liked Angel but could never get into the Vampire stuff, maybe New Amsterdam is worth a look tonight. (FOX, 9:00 Eastern.)