HollywoodChicago.com RSS   Facebook   HollywoodChicago.com on Twitter   Free Giveaway E-mail   

TV Review: NBC’s ‘Ironside’ is Worst New Drama of 2013

Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly versionE-mail page to friendE-mail page to friendPDF versionPDF version
Average: 3.4 (5 votes)

CHICAGO – As the TV world was bombarded by new shows last week, I heard a number of complaints about the new dramas and comedies. “Hostages” was too cliched. “The Blacklist” wasn’t believable. “SHIELD” wasn’t fun enough. “Lucky 7” was, well, just awful. People, those shows will look even better if you happen to stumble upon “Ironside,” premiering tomorrow night on NBC. It’s the most cliched, least believable, least fun, and just awful new drama of the year. It is aggressively bad. Avoid at all costs.

HollywoodChicago.com Television Rating: 1.0/5.0
Television Rating: 1.0/5.0

It’s particularly tragic that “Ironside” fails so miserably because modern audiences probably won’t even realize that it’s a remake of the smash hit Raymond Burr series that ran from 1967-1975. They’ll just think it’s silly. And Blair Underwood, who has been excellent through his many years in TV, even recently on HBO’s “In Treatment” deserves better than the horrendous, uninteresting writing here.

Photo credit: NBC

Underwood stars as Detective Robert Ironside, the toughest detective in New York City, even though he spends every day in a wheelchair. A bullet shattered his spine two years ago but it didn’t shatter his PRIDE. Ironside refuses to give in, as we’re reminded constantly through gritted teeth and montages of him working out and being oh-so-tough. It’s not the idea of a wheelchair-bound tough cop that fails on “Ironside” but the execution as his grit is underlined, emphasized, and played up well past the point of cliche before the first commercial break. He’s not going to let his wheelchair slow him down, MAN. Don’t forget it. OK, we won’t.

Ironside has colleagues who assist him and put up with his notably macho approach to crimefighting, including Officer Virgil (the excellent Pablo Schreiber, recently of “Orange is the New Black” and appearing in HBO’s “Muhammad Ali’s Greatest Fight” on Saturday), Detective Holly (Spencer Grammer), and Officer Teddy (Neal Bledsoe). Captain Ed Rollins (Kenneth Choi) manages them all while Ironside’s ex-partner Gary (Brent Sexton) marvels at his friend’s grit and determination.

As the creators hope you do as well. Please don’t for a second consider this a slight on the concept of a show built around a physically handicapped detective. The opposite is true. I’m angrier at it because it should be a way to explore how our physical well-being is only one part of our lives and how we approach our work, even crimefighting. It’s not. It’s just manipulative drama that hopes to make you stand up and cheer by reminding you over and over again how tough its title character remains. We get it. Now what?

“Ironside” stars Blair Underwood, Pablo Schreiber, Spencer Grammer, Neal Bledsoe, Kenneth Choi, and Brent Sexton. It premieres on Wednesday, October 2, 2013 at 9pm CST.

HollywoodChicago.com content director Brian Tallerico

Content Director

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent spam submissions.
Enter the characters shown in the image.

Hot stories on the Web

User Login

Free Giveaway Mailing


  • Merry Widow, The

    CHICAGO – Standing up at the Lyric Opera house in Chicago is unusual before a show. But in this case, it was the night after a tragedy, and the operetta “The Merry Widow” – set in Paris, France, in 1905 – was about to unfold. The orchestra struck up La Marseillaise, a reminder that we’ll always have Paris.

  • Black White Love Play

    CHICAGO – The love story of a prominent Chicago celebrity couple becomes the basis for a metaphoric and tuneful celebration about courage and coming together. “The Black White Love Play: The Story of Chaz & Roger Ebert” – written and directed by Black Ensemble Theater’s Jackie Taylor – portrays the film critic and the civil rights lawyer in their time, but also creates an atmosphere of emotion through song, sorrow and jubilation.


HollywoodChicago.com on Twitter


HollywoodChicago.com Top Ten Discussions