×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

TV Review: ‘Second Chance’

With:
Rob Kazinsky, Tim DeKay, Dilshad Vadsaria, Adhir Kalyan, Ciara Bravo, Vanessa Lengies, Philip Baker Hall

Fox decided to revive Frankenstein — this time with a few high-tech bells and whistles — but the network has jammed Mary Shelley’s classic tale into a rote and unimpressive police procedural. The result is “Second Chance,” a story about a man who was brought back to life, but the series displays no real spark of its own.

Jimmy Pritchard was a Seattle sheriff who liked to break the rules — not for himself, we’re told, but to get justice, at least as the hard-drinking cop defined it. It’s difficult not to wonder if Fox has misread the public mood with this show’s premise and that of last fall’s similarly tepid “Minority Report.” Both revolve around the idea that law enforcement should have unlimited powers, and when it does not, cops should take matters into their own hands and do whatever they decide is right. Having a cop talk about his community as “a city of animals” that need taming, as Pritchard does, is an odd tack to take in an era in which many police departments are under scrutiny due to a perceived lack of accountability. 

In any event, much of the success of “Second Chance” will hinge on the audience’s willingness to go along for the ride with a rule-breaking cop whose rejuvenation has made him extraordinarily strong and physically resilient, if not more intellectually gifted. The right kind of fascinating character and performance could have made the premise work, but neither are in evidence. Perhaps Pritchard is supposed to exude a raffish, heedless charm, but too often Rob Kazinsky plays him as an affable, stubborn bro, and not much more. (Philip Baker Hall plays the older version of Pritchard, and wrings much more flavor out of the role than his younger counterpart.) 

The best thing about the show is Tim DeKay, reprising a role very similar to the one he played on USA’s underrated “White Collar.” DeKay is one of TV’s great yet unheralded utility players, able to excel at dry comedy, laconic lawman dialogue and emotional subtext without drawing attention to his own versatility. DeKay’s character — Pritchard’s son, Duval — is a straight-arrow FBI agent who soon collides with Jimmy, without knowing the full story of the familial connection.

Mismatched cops are a TV staple for very good reason: Given the right chemistry, they can liven up almost any investigation, provided the cases of the week have at least a couple of meaty twists and turns. “Second Chance’s” investigations, however, are as generic as they come, and though the show has an ongoing story about how Jimmy’s revival may save the life of a young tech titan, episodes drag when they’re not running in predictable ruts.

Another pairing, that of the tech titan and her twin brother, fails to yield much in the way of dramatic interest, and as was the case with Fox also-rans “Almost Human” and “Minority Report,” this show’s vision of the future is disappointingly banal. Every so often, a sad little blue animated man — the avatar of the social-media firm run by the twins — pops up, and he seems to have been infected with the air of exhaustion that afflicts much of the rest of the show.

Still, at least the little blue man occasionally displays a deadpan wit, but for long stretches, there’s little of interest to latch onto here. The most annoying thing about “Second Chance” is the way that Kazinsky barely even tries to mask his English accent in a number of scenes. Letting the odd vowel or word slide is one thing, but Kazinsky, who is playing an American, does entire scenes as if he’s hanging out in a London pub. It’s a distracting aspect of a sub-par show.

TV Review: 'Second Chance'

(Series; Fox, Weds. Jan. 13, 9 p.m.)

Production:

Filmed in Vancouver by 20th Century Fox Television  in association with Teakwood Lane Productions and Kara Productions.

Crew:

Executive producers, Rand Ravich, Howard Gordon, Donald Todd, Brad Turner, Michael Cuesta; director, Cuesta; writer, Ravich; director of photography, Chris Manley; production designer, Patti Podesta; costume designer, Shawna Trpcic; editor, Elena Maganini; music, John Paesano; casting, Patrick Rush. 60 MIN.

Cast: Rob Kazinsky, Tim DeKay, Dilshad Vadsaria, Adhir Kalyan, Ciara Bravo, Vanessa Lengies, Philip Baker Hall

More TV

  • How the 'Rich Eisen Show' Mixes

    How the 'Rich Eisen Show' Mixes Sports and Showbiz in an Entertaining Mix

    Walking through the El Segundo studio where veteran sportscaster Rich Eisen tapes his daily “Rich Eisen Show,” the sheer density of sports memorabilia is overwhelming — everything from game balls to jerseys, gear, autographs and uncountable photos are crammed onto every inch of wall and desk space. But step into Eisen’s dressing room, and the [...]

  • Whiskey Tango Cavalier

    TV Review: 'Whiskey Cavalier'

    The crux of “Whiskey Cavalier” can be found right in its protagonist’s name. “Will Chase” is a purposefully ridiculous wink of a name that tries to be both debonair and very silly all at once, just like the FBI agent (played by Scott Foley) to which it belongs. This isn’t a regular spy drama, “Whiskey [...]

  • Brody Stevens Dead

    Comedian Brody Stevens Dies at 48

    Prominent Los Angeles comedian Brody Stevens died Friday in Los Angeles, Variety has confirmed. He was 48. “Brody was an inspiring voice who was a friend to many in the comedy community,” Stevens’ reps said in a statement. “He pushed creative boundaries and his passion for his work and his love of baseball were contagious. [...]

  • Editorial use onlyMandatory Credit: Photo by

    Malik Yoba to Reprise Role in 'New York Undercover' Reboot at ABC

    Malik Yoba, who starred as Detective J.C. Williams in the 90s show “New York Undercover,” is set to reprise the role in the ABC reboot, sources tell Variety. Picking up 20 years after the end of the original series, “New York Undercover” will follow detectives Nat Gilmore and Melissa Ortiz as they investigate the city’s [...]

  • Chris Burrous dead KTLA anchor

    KTLA Anchor Chris Burrous' Cause of Death Released

    An investigative report on KTLA anchor Chris Burrous has determined that his cause of death was attributed to methamphetamine toxicity, according to the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office. Burrous, 43, was found unconscious at a motel in Glendale, Calif on December 27, and later died at the hospital. The death has been ruled as accidental. [...]

  • Editorial use only. No book cover

    'Crazy Rich Asians,' 'Late Show With Stephen Colbert' Win Publicity Campaign Awards

    Hollywood publicists have selected “Crazy Rich Asians” as the top movie publicity campaign for 2018 and “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert” as the best television campaign. Warner Bros.’ “Crazy Rich Asians” topped the campaigns for Disney’s “Black Panther,” Fox’s “Bohemian Rhapsody,” Paramount’s “A Quiet Place,” Sony’s “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse,” and Universal’s “Halloween” for [...]

  • THE MASKED SINGER: Rabbit in the

    Live+3 Ratings for Week of Feb. 11: 'Masked Singer' Easily Tops Competition

    Fox’s “The Masked Singer” was the highest-rated broadcast show of the week in both Live+Same Day and Live+3. For the week of Feb. 11, the unscripted singing competition series went from a 2.4 rating in adults 18-49 to a 3.4, a rise of 42%. In total viewers, the show went from 7.8 million viewers to [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content