Cops are in for another run at comedy, but this opening chapter, written and created by Larry Levin, works too hard and comes up with too little genuine humor to make an arrest. Chances of anyone sticking around to size up how three pairs of cops kick up dust in Bakersfield are negligible.
Levin has developed six types: Ron Eldard’s overly enthusiastic Wade Preston; Giancarlo Esposito’s half-black, half-Italian Paul Gigante; Chris Mulkey’s slow-witted Denny Boyer; Tony Plana’s emotional Luke Ramirez; Brian Doyle-Murphy’s reliable Sgt. Hampton; and Jack Hallett’s indecisive Capt. Stiles. However, their weaknesses are pounded into the pavement.
One of the show’s gimmicks is that Gigante’s black and Bakersfield majors in white. His eager partner Preston, who thrives on cop TV shows, expects black lore from cultivated Gigante, who knows none.
The sight gags don’t earn many laughs. Director Dean Parisot and writer Levin are stronger in the personal touches than in the high jinks, though even the former don’t add up to much. As it is so far, “Bakersfield P.D.” earns no stripes.