BC Review

New Amsterdam: FOX

3/04/2008 05:37:57 AM

“This isn’t that strong a pilot, or a series, and the idea of a 17th-century early American hero (s early he predates America) given eternal youth until he meets his soulmate is as bizarre a premise as it is problematic…. [T[he only reasons to watch are the smart visual touches, especially the montages, by director Lasse Hallstrom, who directed Chocolat and The Cider House Rules. New York, it turns out, is the best character in the show.” (David Bianculli, TVWorthWatching.com)

 

“I understand that solving crimes is the highest career aspiration a TV character can have — second and third place would be practicing medicine and practicing law, which, conveniently, Amsterdam has also done — and I’m sure "cop show with a supernatural twist" is a lot easier to sell to a network and then an audience than "immortal guy has loosely-defined adventures over a period of several centuries." It just seems like a waste. Why take a character with many lifetimes worth of possible stories to tell and strand him in a format that the networks have recently worked to death?” (Alan Sepinwall, New Jersey Star Ledger)

“Fox can easily be accused of coasting with mostly safe and undistinguished scripted choices since being doused in the glow of Idol,and this latest entry does little to dispel that impression. The series offers a message, though, that the network’s development team should take to heart — a reminder that in TV, too, nothing lives forever.” (Brian Lowry, Variety)

 

“But the motor on which New Amsterdam runs is neither superhero caricature nor romantic piffle. It’s a haunting mediation on memory and mortality. When, in the course of an investigation, Amsterdam encounters an old lover now settling into the embrace of Alzheimer’s, her eyes brighten momentarily as she gazes into his still-young face.” (Glenn Garvin, The Miami Herald)

 

"New Amsterdam is very average - and in many aspects is well below average. It never feels like much more than a cliche. The writers put him in situations where it doesn’t take a genius to figure out what happened. (Fox sent two episodes and it was pretty clear who was the killer in each one.) So, it’s not a fascinating police procedural - nor should it be. The main character is immortal - that should be the hook.” (Tim Goodman, San Francisco Chronicle)

 

“Immortality is the spinning wheel of New Amsterdam, a Fox series that begins on Tuesday, but you could just as easily say that it runs on an exaltation of the selective codes of Manhattan bachelorhood. And once you start seeing the show through this lens, it is hard not to experience it as a kind of maddening invitation to grievance.” (Ginia Bellafante, New York Times)

 

“To enjoy New Amsterdam at all, the viewer must make bigger leaps of logic than most series with fantasy elements require. (Does a woman who can grant immortality really need saving?)” (Molly Willow, The Columbus Dispatch)

 

“Talk about been-there, done-that: This guy truly has seen it all. But the police cases he has to deal with in the present may have a hard time staying relevant to the weekly drama. And once he becomes mortal, then what? It’s worth a look but will have to work to hold an audience.” (Marshall Fine, Star Magazine)

 

“Once the basics of the premise are revealed, the show takes a real nosedive. After the story focuses on the murder that Amsterdam and his new partner are trying to solve, it just isn’t interesting enough. Watching them track down the killer is like watching an episode of Law & Order featuring none of your favorite characters.” (Paul Goebel, TV Squad)

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