THE SERIES “APB”
WHEN | WHERE Premieres Monday at 9 p.m. on Fox/5
WHAT IT’S ABOUT When the pal of billionaire tech titan Gideon Reeves (Justin Kirk) is killed in an armed robbery, he decides to give some of his billions to the Chicago cop precinct where the murder occurred. A catch: He now runs the precinct. Some of the cops, notably Det. Theresa Murphy (Natalie Martinez), are doubtful, but they do like his gadgets, like a drone and the superfast 911 app he introduces, called APB.
MY SAY Anyone paying attention in the past 20 years knows Kirk is a gifted actor. First came his Obie winner “Love! Valour! Compassion!,” then “Angels in America,” then “Weeds,” then “Animal Practice” . . . SCCCRREEEEECH. Say what?
OK, there was that miscue, but at least the NBC fiasco offered him some career perspective, or a variation of the Nietzsch ean “if it doesn’t kill you” decree: If it doesn’t end your career, at least you’ll choose roles more wisely the next time.
Has he picked wisely this time? Let’s safely say, not unwisely. It’s always good to have series producer Matt Nix (“Burn Notice”) in your corner, and “APB” definitely has that Nix-onian touch, best described as a joyously nerdy indulgence in all things techy, plus big explosions. (You “Burn Notice” fans know what I’m talking about.)
The show has an almost pleasing we-don’t-give-a-damn-what-you-snooty-critics-think attitude, too. This isn’t for them (er, us) anyway. It’s for you. You’ll probably like it, or some of you will. There are those aforementioned toys, especially that Swiss army knife of a drone, which does everything but give the bad guys a haircut. The Chicago locale is put to good use. The action sequences are average to above average. Kirk, meanwhile, is a cross between two of his characters from other shows: Andy Botwin (“Weeds”) and Mitchell’s boss, Charlie Bingham, on “Modern Family,” although shaded a little more toward Charlie: obnoxious, full of himself, but not without heart (if you can find it).
“APB” is also built on an interesting idea (seriously). There are plenty of third-party 911 apps out there to address the shortcomings of the National 911 Program, which is in the midst of a massive overhaul at the moment. “APB” could be a glimpse of the future — or at least make the case that it can’t come soon enough.
BOTTOM LINE A not nearly as bad (as you feared) cop procedural, plus toys that go boom.