Midseason Pilot Reviews: Golden Boy

Premise: Golden Boy follows the career of Walter Clark from the time he becomes a detective to him becoming the youngest police commissioner in NYPD history.

Initial Thoughts: This show didn’t particularly interest me. The concept was a little off-putting to me since was a bit concerned that everything Walter did was going to be wonderful and amazing because he is the Golden Boy and that just makes for a dull protagonist.

Series Premiere: 2/26/13; 3/8/13 (timeslot premiere)

Timeslot Competition: Touch (FOX), Dateline NBC/Grimm (NBC), Shark Tank (ABC), Cult (CW)

Post-show Thoughts: I won’t be watching this show. While they did give Walter a flaw (pride), it wasn’t enough to take away from the fact that he seemed to be better than everyone else at everything. His attention to detail and deduction rival Sherlock Holmes’, he’s an outstanding shot, and he makes detective after being called a “hero” by the media. While the homicide division doesn’t take kindly to him, he’s still primarily the one making progress on the case, even if not all of it is legal progress that could be used in court. He’s clearly ambitious and willing to do whatever it takes to get ahead and be the best but I find it less interesting since it’s coupled with a good bit of natural skill. I would be much more interested if he wasn’t all that talented, just really good at manipulation, although that’s just my personal preference.

More than anything, I think I’m just tired of this sort of trope. Smart guys with huge egos who are willing to do whatever it takes to get ahead or win aren’t uncommon on television. Harvey from Suits fits this mold, although he’s admittedly more fleshed out as a character and has been from the beginning. This perfectly describes Walt on Breaking Bad, and while I don’t necessarily love the show, I think the way they have handled his pride and why it will ultimately destroy him has been exceptional. They are good characters, but I don’t find them very interesting either. This show may have an audience of people who enjoy that dynamic, I’m just not one of them.

Predictions: It’s premiere numbers were pretty low, considering that it had a strong lead-in and not very much competition. I’m guessing the move to its actual timeslot won’t increase ratings. However, since it will be on Friday, the standard for “good” ratings will decrease so that may balance out. Either way, unless it really tanks in the next few weeks, I expect it to air all of its episodes, even if a second season isn’t extremely likely at this point.  


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