Memphis Beat (PREVIEW)

'Memphis' Beat follows Dwight Hendricks, a Memphis detective that treats his city as a small-town until a new Chief comes in, changing up the order of things.  Dwight is a simple man, set on doing things right, even if that means that it may not be the most efficient or modern way of doing it.

I have been a fan of Jason Lee since his start years ago in 'Mallrats'.  I have followed his career and I usually try to catch anything he has been in.  His last (and first) venture into regular TV was the very underappreciated 'My Name is Earl' which ended after NBC decided to no renew it and TNT sister company, TBS, decided not to save it.  Perhaps that decision by TBS was because of his being already involved in 'Memphis Beat' and if 'Earl' was renewed, it would have killed this show in it's tracks.

Unfortunately, they made the wrong choice.  'Memphis Beat' isn't really a good show.  It doesn't showcase Lee's trademark sarcasm or comedic timing at all and the storylines just fall flat.  I really didn't care at all about the characters or what happened to them and the lip-synching that Lee does at the beginning and end is some of the worst voice-matching I have ever seen.

The show isn't BAD, necessarily, it's just boring and unoriginal.  It has a bleak darkness to it that gives you a "Shield" kind of feel but the rest of the show really isn't dark at all, neither thematically or story-wise.  All this serves is to make Memphis look like a dingy city, which it's not.  The premiere episode feels more like a mid-3rd season outing when they are losing their steam as opposed to a strong attention-grabber.  I'll go ahead and say that, unless a miracle happens and this show completely shifts everything, it's not going to last.  Id' be surprised if it even ran out it's first order of episodes.

Peter Oberth
Review by Peter Oberth
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