The Unusuals falls into a different type of category as a comedic drama. It shows on ABC on Wednesday nights at 10 PM EST.
The show starts with the lead Casey Schrager (Amber Tamblyn) a vice detective who is working undercover as a prostitute when she is suddenly promoted off the street to the homicide division to help investigate the murder of Burt Kowalski a fellow detective. Casey then meets Jason Walsh (Jeremy Renner) the partner of Kowalski. Jason Walsh is the standout lead character in my opinion for the pilot episode, his acting is good and you get the feeling he is hiding a very dark secret which just reels you right into his character. He lives in a diner where instead of fruit he uses a skittles reduction and is seen putting pretzels in an omelette. This could explain the lack of customers at the diner but the rent is cheap.
Casey Schrager's character seems to struggle in her role and that could be due to being thrust in an odd situation with a new partner who is on a dangerous trip to solve his old partners death. I am not sure Amber Tamblyn is the right actress for the role of Casey, she doesn't have that cop feel to her and her role feels a bit forced. Maybe she will start to fit more into the role in the next few episodes and it also may have to do with her characters roots of being a born into a rich family. Her parents can't grasp the idea of why she decided to become a public servant as her dad puts it. The scene at her fathers birthday party left me feeling as awkward as she looked through the scene. As we meet Walsh and Schrager's fellow detectives we find each one has a strange quirkiness to them and secrets that are dying to be told.
Detective Leo Banks (Harold Perrineau Jr) – After turning 42 Det. Banks has a serious fear that he will succumb to an early death because his dad, grandfather and uncle all died at the same age. One of his ways to deal with his fear is to constantly wear his vest and some speculate that he even sleeps in it.
Detective Eric Delahoy (Adam Goldberg) – Hiding a secret of a deadly brain tumor Detective Delahoy seems to be welcoming death as evidenced by his encounter with a moving train where instead of moving out of it's way he just stands there waiting for it to hit him.
Detective Eddie Alvarez (Kai Lennox) - plays the stereotypical egotistical idiot who wants credit for everything he does and like to refer to himself in the third person. It was fun to watch Walsh send Alvarez on a wild goose chase for an informant for the murder case so that Walsh can conduct his own investigation. When Alvarez calls Walsh at a new destination looking for the informant Walsh always asks "Who is this" to Alvarez's aggravation.
Detective Henry Cole (Joshua Close) - A former teen trouble maker who has found god and mended his ways. Although at the end we see a twist where he claims to have found the dead detectives badge and gun in the wall when in reality he had them all along.
Detective Allison Beaumont (Monique Gabriela) - A tough beauty that we don't learn much about in the first episode.
Sergeant Harvey Brown (Terry Kinney) - The leader of the squad Sergeant Brown is the most serious of the bunch and is the balance to all the quirky behaviors of his detectives.
The casting was well done for the show, I do have doubts about Amber Tamblyn but she may prove me wrong in the next few episodes so I will have to watch and see. The show followed a more serious dramatic case of a detective murdered while also following the comedic case of a cat killer. Watching the interactions between Det. Banks and Delahoy as they track down who is killing local cats (while being constantly teased at the station with cat jokes) was quite humorous and a good pairing in my opinion.
As an interlude between scenes you hear the raspy voice of a women in dispatch mentioning all the odd things happening in the district. The opening begins with her saying "2nd squad this is dispatch, be on the lookout for a man in a hotdog costume last seen running west on Houston Street suspect may or may not be wielding a samurai sword". The guy in the hotdog costume is then used in a later joke when he asks if he gets a phone call and Det. Beaumont says "Who are you going to call the Hamburglar?" The raspy voice is also kind enough to let everyone know that the female bathroom is for females only. They are kind of amusing and are easily missed when switching scenes so I am not sure what they add to the show.
Overall I wasn't completely taken in by the pilot episode of The Unusuals. I feel it has potential to become a better show and the casting is pretty good for the start. A lot of the jokes fell flat and didn't get the intended reaction they were supposed to from me. I will give it another few episodes and see if any improvements are made and can grab more of my attention.