TV Review - S.W.A.T. (2017)
Shemar Moore (Criminal Minds and The Young and the Restless) stars as Daniel Harrelson aka Hondo, a sergeant in SWAT in his late 40's but due to his training in a boxing gym looks like he has the muscular body of someone in his 20's. Yet, his age and experience are crucial because he's also a black man raised on the streets of Los Angeles. He knows the people in the streets but he's a cop through-and-through. It's assumed he'll be conflicted, having a foot in both worlds. At the end of the first episode, Hondo even says to the unarmed black kid who was shot that he joined the police force to change it from within. The next two episodes, however, don't follow up with that idea. How does he plan to change it?
Alex Russell (Only the Brave and Chronicle) co-stars as Jim Street, the new recruit to the SWAT team who is an absolute representation of that machismo. He's reckless. He acts before thinking and he's too aggressive but not violent. He simply runs into danger without much regard and he also is the kind of guy to hit on or flirt with anyone female, even while on duty. He's a bit disgusting, or just stupid, but luckily the show has him as a foil to Hondo who does berate Jim and keeps him in check.
Unfortunately, the show is preferring Jim's antics and how much of a loose canon he is, rather than digging into the institutional problems at hand or that are criticized for the most part. The show has settled into typical cop stuff. A crime happens. Cops track the criminal down and most often kill him. As such, it's boring.
Other than Hondo and Jim, the other characters in SWAT are really forgettable or inconsequential at this point. The team of cops in Ryan's most acclaimed series The Shield weren't forgettable or inconsequential. Kenny Johnson who plays Dominic Luca, a SWAT officer here, also played Detective Curtis Lemansky aka Lem in The Shield. Lem emerged as a great character several seasons into it, but that show had such distinctive and memorable characters from episode one like Dutch and Claudette, as well as Aceveda.
Running Time: 1 hr.
Thursdays at 10PM on CBS.