FBI – New Crime Drama Bombs Like Its Own Explosions

FBI banner artwork

Being a fan of the Law & Order franchise (what’s left of it), I was curious what else Dick Wolf had to offer.  FBI is another procedural crime drama, but focusing on what should be larger crimes than those covered in Law & Order.  Are viewers truly anxious for one more?

Synopsis

Airing Tuesdays at 9pm Eastern, with the first episode currently available on their website, CBS describes the show as:

an eye-opening new procedural about the inner workings of the New York office of the FBI, bringing to bear all the Bureau’s skills, intellect and mind-blowing technology to keep New York and the country safe.

Trailer

The First Look trailer provides a window into the grander scale envisioned by the show, as well as the additional technology available to the FBI.  Check it out here:

Characters

The first episode bombed in getting us to care about the main characters.  We are not provided with any substantive backgrounds.  There is zero emotional attachment to the agents leading the investigation.  Curiously, the criminals are the ones getting all the attention.  In order to get viewers back each week, there needs to be a connection to the show and that starts with the characters.  Frankly, I am deeply concerned about the lack of character development in the first episode and the effect it will have going forward.

At one point, there is an exchange between an agent and a grieving mother who, moments earlier, lost her young son in an explosion.  These two women were clearly intended to have an emotional moment, as a heartbroken mother proceeds to berate a tearful agent.  However, we were never given a reason to relate to the agent’s pain.  Did she once have children?  Was she unable to conceive?  Maybe we will find out in the next episode.  Unfortunately, the opportunity to tug on our heartstrings has already passed.

Conclusion

Regrettably, FBI does not appear to bring anything new to the Law & Order formula and left me utterly underwhelmed.  The trailer gave us big explosions and dramatic music, but–like the buildings–the show fell flat.  The suspense was entirely lackluster and failed to deliver in every way imaginable.

Perhaps, there is nowhere left to take us because the genre has been diluted.  Maybe our expectations are higher than they were when the original Law & Order shows aired.  Regardless of the reason, I suspect FBI will join the likes of Law & Order: LA in the not too distant future.

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