Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday – Is “Golden Boy” Golden?

Television’s winter premiere season is officially here!  We’re currently down to the very last of the new shows premiering this TV season, but Amber West and I still have our work cut out for us—especially since she doesn’t have cable and my DVR crashed a few weeks ago, losing over 120 recordings.  Regardless, we’ll make it work.

And speaking of making it work… we have had so much fun posting dual reviews this season, we’ve decided to keep going.  Will Amber and I agree or disagree after watching the new CBS police procedural, Golden Boy?

Golden Boy follows Walter William Clark, Jr. (Theo James from the British series Bedlam and Downton Abbey) on his unprecedented rise through the New York City Police force from a beat cop, to detective, to police commissioner.  This rise to the top took Clark only seven years, making him the youngest police commissioner in the history of NYC.

The role of Clark supposedly belonged to Ryan Phillippe in the early stages of the series’ development.  I don’t know why Mr. Phillippe backed out, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a bit disappointed by this… at first.  But after watching the first four episodes, I have decided Mr. James will do just fine—he’s quite cute, especially when he smiles.

But let’s get back to the show…

Each episode begins in the future, or the present, depending on which way we want to look at it.  Either way, we know that Clark is now police commissioner.  After the opening scenes, the series rewinds back in time to Clark’s days as a homicide detective.

Clark’s heroism helped him advance to detective after only four years on the job as a beat cop.  This heroism comes as a sort of double-edged sword.  On one hand, the women find him irresistible.  But on the other, not all of the detectives in his squadron agree that he’s so golden—particularly Christian Arroyo (Kevin Alejandro from Southland and True Blood).

Bottom line: Clark has great instincts… he just needs a little mentoring.

It was reported that this crime drama is more character driven than most.  Instead of focusing on the cases the police solve, Golden Boy focuses on the Clark character and the relationships he forms with his partners and mentors, specifically Detective Don Owen (Chi McBride from Boston Public and Human Target).

Now, I’m not going to argue that the show hasn’t given the audience glimpses into Clark’s character because it has:  he’s a good guy, evidenced by the fact he lives with and supports his younger sister; he’s humble, possessing the tendency to give credit to others for his accomplishments, especially to his partner who has been in homicide for eleven years and is looking for a promotion; and he’s generous, giving money to patrol officers to buy coffee and donuts.

I also won’t argue with the fact that the series has shown the relationships forming between Clark and a few of the other characters… First, there’s his partner; Clark truly seems to value what Owen has to say, and he genuinely wants to see good things in Owen’s future.  There’s also his budding relationship, good and bad, with Deb McKenzie (Bonnie Somerville from NYPD Blue and Cashmere Mafia) and Arroyo, the other partnership in the department.

However, all these developing relationships aside, the series still reminds me of all the other police procedurals already on the air today…

And even though the show follows Clark as the main character, let’s talk about Arroyo for a minute.  This guy can’t stand Clark.  Generally speaking, Arroyo has a horrible attitude… he even slaps a female suspect in interrogation.  He is so determined to be top dog, that he’ll do anything to stand out to the higher-ups, including framing and threatening other detectives, as well as rushing into crimes-in-progress without the proper warrants AND at the risk of his partner’s life, a partner he is currently having an extramarital affair with.  And Clark’s not the only one on Arroyo’s hit list—he can’t stand Owen either.  This guy is a real tool and not at all deserving of his level-headed and beautiful partner.

And while we’re on the subject of the supporting cast, the new series also stars a few other familiar faces: Holt McCallany (CSI: Miami and Lights Out) as Joe Diaco, the detective with all of the connections; Stella Maeve (My Super Psycho Sweet 16-Part 2) as Agnes, Clark’s sister; and Odette Annable (House) in a recurring role as ADA Kat O’Connor (and perhaps a potential love interest for Clark).

So, how does Golden Boy rank?  It is just another police procedural, like all the others, but I have enjoyed it so far.  Do I prefer it over the other CBS police procedurals, like CSICSI: NYBlue BloodsHawaii Five-0?  NCIS: LA?  Maybe… but probably not.  It’s too early to decide; but I’m definitely not deleting it from the DVR queue anytime soon.  What can I say? I’m a sucker for these shows and I want to know what happens to Clark.  Heck, I even want to know what happens with Arroyo.

For that, I’m awarding Golden Boy with the JFTV rating… it’s like a bag of potato chips; there are all those different flavors out there, and regardless of the fact that we prefer one particular flavor, we can’t keep ourselves from trying all the others.  And just like the potato chip companies, television networks can’t keep themselves from putting out new flavors, I mean police procedurals left and right.  One never knows when they might strike gold.

Oh, and before we go…

As commissioner, we notice Clark walks with a limp; as a homicide detective, he does not.  It will be interesting to see if the show lasts long enough for viewers to learn the reason why…

After premiering on a Tuesday night, CBS indicated it was going to move Golden Boy to Friday nights in CSI: NY’s timeslot.  And depending on which show scored higher rankings on that particular night and time would determine which one would be back in the 2013-2014 season.  But after only one week partnered with Blue Bloods, Golden Boy is now back on Tuesday nights in Vegas’ slot.

What does that mean?  Is CSI: NY safe and Vegas not?  Who knows…  Honestly, I hate all the back and forth the networks do with TV series.  Just pick a night and time and leave it alone!!

What do you think?  Have you watched Golden Boy?  I’d love to hear from you! 

Now click over to Amber’s blog and see what she thinks about the new CBS series.  Did we agree or disagree?  Trust me; we usually have very different tastes in our television viewing pleasure….

Come back next week when Amber and I review something…

Remember to stop by the #watchwed hashtag in Twitter to discuss any of today’s reviews, or to mention any television programs that you’d like to see on Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday in the future.

A Recap of The WatchWed Review System:

GTV (Gourmet TV): Everything we want and more
MacTV (MacNCheese TV): Guilty pleasure. Not perfect, but is satisfies
GMacTV (Gourmet MacNCheese TV): A combination of fine wine and comfort food
JFTV (Junk food TV):It’s not great for us, but we’ll go back for seconds
TBPTV (Twice Baked Potato TV): Part gourmet and delicious, while absolutely horrible for our cholesterol
SSTV (Still Simmering TV): It has potential, but the jury is still out
NIV (NyQuil Induced Viewing): Perfect for that late night television sleep timer
LOTV (Liver&Onions TV): Do we really have to explain? Blech
Inedible TV: Exactly how it sounds…

5 Replies to “Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday – Is “Golden Boy” Golden?”

    1. I was kinda 50/50 on it… another police procedural (Yay, I thought–I love police procedurals), but yet another police procedural (uh-oh… that probably means something else I watch was in danger–I was right on that one, BTW). Anyway, I do enjoy it, Emma. And Mr. James is REALLY cute. 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by!

  1. After reading your review and Amber’s, I feel more certain of my decision to sit this one out. Which is a shame because I would love to see Chi McBride again. His role as Emerson Cod was a highlight in the too-soon-canceled Pushing Daisies.

    1. My parents kept telling me to watch Pushing Daisies, but it was gone too soon. I did catch a few episodes, but never enough to really get into it. I do like Chi McBride, though. I watched Human Target on Fox (it survived a short two seasons) and he was great. His role on Golden Boy kinda reminds me of his character on Human Target–smart, older, and very wise… I’m going to keep watching it, Julie. If I think later on down the road that it’s a must see, I’ll let you know. 🙂

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