After two years it seems as though the city of New Orleans is ready to be in the center spotlight once again. With film and TV production returning to the ravaged city, it seems only right that a new show, K-Ville, would actually take place in the immediate aftermath of one of the worst natural disasters to strike the United States.
The premiere opens with officer Marlin Boulet (Anthony Anderson) helping to pull flood victims out of the water, tending to their wounds, and rationing supplies. His partner, Charlie (Derek Webster), takes their squad car and runs away from the turmoil on the overpass, leaving Marlin for days to tend to the injured.
Flash forward two years to September 2007, two years after the storm and faulty engineering that destroyed parts of the city where Boulet has been teamed up with mysterious Trevor Cobb (Cole Hauser), a transfer officer from Cincinnati who, conveniently, has a deep dark secret to go with his ways. The pairing of Anderson and Hauser actually works out better than you would expect based on the pilot episode with Anderson playing his usual comedic self with dramatic overtones, much like we saw in his excellent work on The Shield. Hauser plays the straight man, Cobb is closed off to the world (we learn why as the episode concludes) but could also be the balance the emotional Boulet needs to keep his head in the game.
The pilot episode deals with a land buying scheme to obstruct the rebuilding of a troubled district. Without giving too much away, the plot plays out in a cookie cutter, color by numbers action without much in the way of twists and turns associated with it.
The on location filming in Louisiana brings even the cliché plot devices such as the disgraced cop desperate for redemption, and the good cop, bad cop routine writer Jonathan Lisco tries to set up in the first few minutes of the series. Even the hard-nosed but supportive chief is ripped right out of a Law & Order series, but the authenticity of the series is what gives it its punch, even with tired story elements.
Still, it remains to be seen how the writers will be able to fill up a full 22 episode season completely based in New Orleans and the surrounding rebuilding and crime. The show certainly has potential to be something more than a weekly B-grade buddy cop show taking down the baddie of the week, but if it sinks into that routine, when pared with the serialized Prison Break, you can’t expect it to last past midseason.