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Archive for Wednesday, July 15, 2009

‘Dark Blue’ proves ridiculously violent

July 15, 2009

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Prolific producer Jerry Bruckheimer presents “Dark Blue” (9 p.m., TNT), a hyper-violent new cop show aimed at viewers who found “The Shield” too introspective.

Dylan McDermott (“The Practice”) returns as super-secret undercover agent Lt. Carter Shaw. He hides in his own private Bat Cave. OK, make that his own private loft, a palatial urban space unaffordable to most civil servants. He’s deep; he’s moody. Somewhere along the line he lost his wife, seen only in old videos that he watches while brooding.

Shaw’s right-hand man, Ty (Omari Hardwick), has a nice life and a gorgeous new wife who can’t stand what the undercover work does to him. Dean (Logan Marshall-Green), another one of Shaw’s operatives, seems a little too “real” while hanging with bad guys. Shaw also recruits the fetching Jamie Allen (Nicki Aycox), a rookie cop who has embroidered her police record with a tapestry of lies — making her perfect for his outfit.

“Dark Blue” begins with a scene of a man being tortured and concludes with a noisy shootout that makes downtown Los Angeles look like Fallujah. In between we see explosions, automatic weapons fire and brain-splattering assassinations. Bruckheimer (“CSI” “Without a Trace,” 12 million movies just like “Con Air”) projects are rarely subtle, but the violence on “Dark Blue” straddles the line between excessive and laughable. And I’m not sure that was the intention.

• Michael Ian Black and Michael Showalter, both veterans of “The State” and “Stella,” star in the new show-within-a-show comedy “Michael & Michael Have Issues” (9:30 p.m., Comedy Central).

“Issues” combines scenes and clips from their shared talk show and also behind-the-scenes moments between the talent and their staff and their many moments of personal insecurity and petty rivalries. It’s quite easy to see how “real” life informs their comedy.

How petty are the Michaels? They fight for the attention and respect of a young intern writing a joint profile for his high school newspaper. Both Michaels have made a career of the snarky aside and understated silliness disguised as life-and-death struggle. Look for more snickers than gut-busting laughs here. A little “Michael” goes a long way, but in a half-hour helpings riddled with commercials, that’s about what you’ll get.

• “Ted Williams” (8:30 p.m., HBO) profiles one of baseball’s most celebrated players, the last batter to complete a season with a .400 average and who hit 521 home runs in a career interrupted twice for combat duty in World War II and Korea. “Williams” contrasts his baseball achievements and wartime valor with a rather ragged history as a husband and father.

Tonight’s other highlights

• Two helpings of “America’s Got Talent” (7 p.m., NBC).

• “So You Think You Can Dance” (7 p.m., Fox) continues for two hours.

• The Robin Hood heist series “Leverage” (8 p.m., TNT) returns for a second season.

• A tourist’s murder leads to evidence of human trafficking on “CSI: NY” (9 p.m., CBS).

• Teddy returns to Nigeria on “The Philanthropist” (9 p.m., NBC).

• Scheduled on “Primetime” (9 p.m., ABC): crime.

• The harrowing “travelogue” “Locked Up Abroad” (9 p.m., National Geographic) returns, with a glance at the accommodations in Iraq.

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