Welcome to Pilot Perception, our feature in which we break down the first episode of each new show in order to help you decide whether it’s worth your time.
The Show: Crossing Lines, NBC, Sundays at 10/9c
(Note: Crossing Lines will air on the CBC in Canada in the fall.)
The Pedigree: The show was created, written, and executive produced by Edward Allen Bernero (Criminal Minds). Jonas Bauer, Rola Bauer, and Tim Halkin (all of Pillars of the Earth) join him as executive producers. Daniel Percival (Strike Back) directs.
The Cast & How You Know Them: Crossing Lines stars William Fichtner (Prison Break), Donald Sutherland (Dirty Sexy Money), Marc Lavoine (The Good Thief), Richard Flood (Titanic: Blood and Steel), Gabriella Pession (Rossella), Tom Wlaschiha (Game of Thrones), and Moon Dailly (Commissaire Magellan).
The Premise: Crossing Lines is about a unique team of law enforcement officers who travel around the world solving crimes for the International Criminal Court.
What Works: I really enjoyed the European setting, especially the fact that it looks like each episode will take place in multiple locations, not just one. That’s something we don’t see in many procedurals, and hey, it will make for a nice summer “vacation” for those of us who can’t actually be traveling to exotic locations. Likewise, the use of the International Criminal Court and characters from several different countries makes for some unusual interagency interactions, so while the murder mystery aspect feels comfortingly similar, the actual procedure of the procedural is different enough to lend some interest. Donald Sutherland is, of course, the standout among the actors, and the pilot quoted Auden, which made me happy.
What Doesn’t: The pilot is two hours long, which is necessary because the characters spend a lot of time sitting around listing each others’ backgrounds and accomplishments – to a somewhat ridiculous extent. But even with all that exposition, the team is so large that it was hard to keep track of exactly who had done what or to get a handle on exactly which skills made each of them unique. And – without spoiling you – let’s just say that one of the most interesting character dynamics is one that it looks like will not continue past the pilot. Some of the accents were a bit questionable, as well. Hopefully within a few episodes the characters will cohere into believable people with believable relationships.
Our Favorite Line: “I’m in charge now.” “When I was in charge, I didn’t feel the need to tell everyone.”
You Might Like This if you like Bernero’s previous show, Criminal Minds, or shows like Leverage, which involve fairly large ensembles who travel around to solve crimes rather than sticking to one city. Or, of course, if you want to watch a procedural while also enjoying some interesting international locations.
(Photo courtesy of NBC.)