TV Review: 'New Amsterdam'
Just months after
Danish actor Nikolaj Coster-Waldau plays John Amsterdam, a
Amsterdam is accompanied by new partner Eva Marquez (Zuleikha Robinson), who doesn't know his secret, and aging club owner Omar (Stephen Henderson), who does. He's also piled up a long string of identical dogs, plus a backlog of wives and girlfriends, women he loved, but who he apparently didn't love enough to die. But is a mysterious doctor (Alexie Gilmore) the one? She sure makes his heart explode. Is that a good thing or a bad thing?
When it comes to the undead procedural, nothing gets fans in a tizzy like like a good forbidden romance -- Think Angel-
The show also isn't committed to the police procedural aspects. I've seen two episodes and Amsterdam hasn't solved a case that was even vaguely interesting, and the more time they waste in the precinct, the more time I'm going to start wondering about piddly details like "Maybe if you're a guy who isn't aging, perhaps the best job in the world isn't one where you're surrounded by professionals trained to notice details like when people go five or 10 or 15 years without aging." Although the first episode is structured fairly straight-forwardly, the second episode introduces extended flashback to an early period in Amsterdam's endless life and while that flashback isn't as well-integrated into the episode's theme as a
I prefer aspects of the storytelling that concentrate on the logistics how how this immortal has lived his seven or eight lifetimes. John Amsterdam has had so many quirks piled on that he's actually a relatively interesting character and Coster-Waldau plays him with an appealing wry tone.
Coster-Waldau resembles a second tier
Technically, "New Amsterdam" is fairly assured stuff. Directed by Oscar nominee Lasse Halstrom, the pilot makes good use of New York locations and the episode ends with a fantastic time-lapse CGI shot of the growth of
The differences in structure and tone between the first and second episodes of "New Amsterdam" are substantial and, to my mind at least, an improvement. I wasn't a fan of the pilot -- too much boring cop work, not enough undead intrigue -- but the second episode was more about the character than what he does for a living.
But therein lies the flaw in FOX's spring programming. "New Amsterdam" has already bounced through three or four different premiere dates and the plug was basically pulled on its production long before it approached a 13-episode run. And now FOX is burning off roughly a third of the show's episodes before it reaches its time period premiere. What are the odds that the series found its voice during its brief time in production and even with a couple post-