Review of APB

60 minutes

Inspired by true events, APB is about the Chicago Police Department spiraling out of control amid sky-high crime, officer-involved shootings, cover-ups and corruption. After witnessing a violent crime first-hand, genius tech billionaire GIDEON REEVES (Justin Kirk), decides to do something about it, putting up millions of dollars of his own money to take over the troubled 13th Precinct and reboot it as a private police force: better, faster and smarter than anything seen before.
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Jul 22, 2017 3:20PM EDT
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Good premise, terrible execution. Why? Three major writing staple are all but ignored:
1) Stakes: What happens if this experiment fails? Considering the 13th precinct by itself only comprises about 4.5% of Chicago's law enforcement cache (per the show)... not much. Why does this matter? If the show doesn't give its characters anything to emotionally invest in, why would we (the audience) keep watching? Even the weak pull of finding Reeves' BFFs killer is solved in episode one. Why wasn't it a serial killer? Or the Mob? ANYTHING that posed a bigger, more significant and longer lasting threat?
2) Character Motivation: Why does Reeves even want this? Because he sees a problem he thinks he can help solve. Ok, that's good. Why are the cops and Mayor opposed to this? Because... reasons. This defies logic. If Reeves is offering the funding and tech to improve law enforcement, there is NO ONE who would oppose it. So all of the dissension here feels artificial for no reason since they COULD HAVE given the characters proper motivations for their feelings. Reeves could have walked in disrespecting them, calling them stupid, saying they're the reason crime happens and fired everyone who didn't "shape up" fast enough, replacing them with hired merceneries. And then over the course of the season, Murphy and Conrad could have helped Reeves see that they all needed to work together, merging old school and new school tactics to get the job done.
3) Conflict: This is when two characters either want different things, or when they want the same thing, but have different approaches to a solution. As far as I can tell, everyone wants the same thing here, but everyone opposes Reeves anyway. Just because. Reeves' conflict with the Mayor would make more sense if, say, another billionaire was backing the Mayor and planning to propose something similar but Reeves beat him to it. Reeves' conflict with the cops would make sense if they (the cops) felt things were working fine as is--but they didn't. So these people are fighting this endeavor for no reason, making this one of the most frustrating show viewings I've had in a long time. And, again, for NO REASON, considering I just spitballed several amateur solutions for all of those problems, so you'd think the people who are paid to do it could too. Right?
Here's hoping they do within the next couple of episodes cuz I'd hate to see such a good and timely premise wasted by professional laziness.

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May 16, 2017 7:27PM EDT

Well written, I couldn't agree more.

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