'Ironside' review: Blair Underwood can't save the redo

From left, Blair Underwood as Robert Ironside and From left, Blair Underwood as Robert Ironside and Kenneth Choi as Ed in the "Ironside" pilot. Photo Credit: NBC

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REVIEW

THE SHOW "Ironside"

WHEN|WHERE Wednesday night at 10 on NBC/4

WHAT IT'S ABOUT Det. Robert Ironside (Blair Underwood) of the NYPD suffered a grievous wound in the line of duty (the pilot explains what and how) that has confined him to a wheelchair. But a generous settlement with the city gave him a few perks, including his own team of detectives -- Virgil (Pablo Schreiber), Holly (Spencer Grammer, yup, Kelsey's daughter) and Teddy (Neal Bledsoe) -- who embrace unconventional methods. Department boss Capt. Ed Rollins (Kenneth Choi) doesn't always approve, but he can't ague with the results. The show is a remake of the Raymond Burr NBC series that aired from 1967 to '75. Tonight, a young woman is found dead, and then....

MY SAY NBC has decided that What Critics Like is of secondary importance to What Viewers Like. (Professional critics didn't even like "Smash," so to hell with them.) But everyone is a critic nowadays. What we know about "Ironside" so far is that Underwood's wheelchair-bound cop is smart, tough, unconventional and subject to bouts of self-pity that alternate with impulsive acts of steel resolve. (Promos tell you that much.) What's missing is some twist that will blast this antiquated procedural business into the 21st century. But that never comes. Underwood is an attractive small-screen presence, surrounded by his personal mod squad of young proteges whose sole purpose is apparently to remind advertisers that this won't be a geriatric play. But even viewers who remember the first "Ironside" won't grasp why this redo is suddenly here. "Ironside" doesn't seem to know, either.

BOTTOM LINE A competent, connect-the-dots procedural that never offers much of a case for why a remake was needed.

GRADE C+

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