TV Review: NBC Breaks International Quality Standards with ‘Crossing Lines’

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Average: 3 (1 vote)

CHICAGONBC’s “Crossing Lines,” premiering with a two-part pilot on Sunday, June 23, 2013 at 8pm CST, was blatantly created for an international audience. It’s a product of a French production company, filming largely in the Czech Republic with an international cast. Designed for sales in as many markets as possible around the world, it’s a financial consideration more than a creative venture, and it’s a boring one at that. Don’t bother. Television Rating: 1.5/5.0
Television Rating: 1.5/5.0

Even the typically-great William Fichtner (known to TV fans for “Prison Break” and movie ones for dozens of great character roles) gets lost in the cliched plotting of this dull procedural. In the two-part premiere, women are being chase down by a serial killer. The odd thing is that the bodies being found don’t match any missing persons reports. Louis Daniel (Marc Lavoine) forms an international crime-solving gang designed to solve the mystery and others while being able to play across borders. With the relative ease with which criminals can jump from country to country in Europe, it takes a different kind of legal force to stop them. And so the NY cop joins forces with a Europol Sergeant, French detective, Irish detective, and German police officer.

Crossing Lines
Crossing Lines
Photo credit: NBC

It’s actually not a bad idea for a procedural. “CSI: Europe.” However, the writing on “Crossing Lines” doesn’t take advantage of its concept. As Fichtner’s troubled cop investigates the crime scene and Donald Sutherland pops up in a role written purely for his name power to attract international investors, the show feels incredibly familiar and almost purposefully routine, as if it’s refusing to take any true risks to appeal to an international lowest common denominator. It’s just another crime drama, only set in Europe.

Well, that’s not exactly true. It’s worse than most crime dramas. The dialogue here approaches the level of parody, conveying a self-importance and square-jawed seriousness that I imagine plays better overseas but should go over like a lead brick in the increasingly cynical United States. There’s a reason NBC is burying this on Sunday nights at a time of year when most people are going outside or switching to cable. It’s not a European vacation worth taking.

“Crossing Lines” stars William Fichtner, Marc Lavoine, Gabriella Pession, Moon Daily, Richard Flood, Tom Wlaschiha, and Donald Sutherland. It premieres on NBC on Sunday, June 23, 2013 at 8pm CST. content director Brian Tallerico

Content Director

Anonymous1074's picture

Typical review of a good show

One has to take reviews of movies/plays/t.v. shows as the opinion of one person who is totally taken in with their own self importance. In Denver there was a man who reviewed entertainment for a newspaper. He was besotted with foreign films that played in the local “art” theater. Anything else, he looked down his nose at. Using his “criteria” of what was good and bad, most people flocked to see things he said were no good and avoided the stuff he praised like the plague. Same with this reviewer. The show does not appear to be returning for a third season, but the first two are well worth the look and are very well done and entertaining.

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