This show is like a fine comic strip: it’s superbly fun, over before you know it, and always leaves you wanting a little more in both a good and a bad way.
“Angie Tribeca” is TBS’ newest comedy, and it resurrects a nearly twenty-year-old form from its relatively-untouched grave: pure, simple, slapstick comedy. While the show is technically categorized as a spoof on police procedurals–an expectation it exceedingly meets as it skewers everything from the callous, always irate Police Chief to the rookie losing his lunch at the crime scene to the cop/police dog partner trope–one would have to be literally, or at least cinematically, blind to not recognize heavy influence of films such as “Airplane!” and the “Naked Gun” series–both written and directed by the Zucker Brothers, Wisconsin natives–coursing through its freshly-laid veins.
And, surprisingly, the pantomiming form feels fresh for each episode, with Rashida Jones starring as the show’s eponymous lead, and managing to shoulder far more comedic responsibility than she had ever been given in her roles on “The Office” and “Parks and Recreation”. Her deadpan style and ability to make the best out of a serious delivery with most heinous and ridiculous lines is a core tenet of “Angie Tribeca”’s constantly-escalating humor.
Jones is backed up by a superb cast, with relative unknown Hayes MacArthur playing admirably as her oftentimes hapless partner. Deon Cole, a regular sketch performer on “Conan”, squeezes every last drop as the human half of the amusing and adorable cop/police dog partnership. Jere Burns fills the role of the eternally-blowhardy Police Chief with consistent comedic presence, and Alfred Molina and Andrée Vermeulen round out the cast nicely and with deftly funny idiosyncrasies as the simultaneously clueless-yet-miraculously-helpful C.S.I. laboratory specialists.
Unfortunately, as with any show, and especially as with any new show, “Angie Tribeca” does have its cracks in the generally-enjoyable facade. While the show’s lightning strike pacing is what inherently makes it so comedic, watching several episodes in a row can be downright exhausting, blending into a never-ending stream of gags capable of drowning even the most seasoned television viewers. And although “Angie Tribeca”’s cast is clearly having fun and have demonstrated through minute gestures and short dramatic spaces that they have the ability to give the show a beating heart, on the whole “Angie Tribeca” amounts to cotton candy for the brain, with little-to-no actual character development or substance occurring throughout any of the episodes.
To anyone who has seen it, “Angie Tribeca” obviously possesses quite the load of both comedic prowess and charm to win each episode’s day. Despite the lack of development that took place in season one, I, personally, have hope for this little gem of a show.
Season two, we’re waiting.