'Backstrom' is one sorry character

January 22, 2015 10:08 PM

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Backstrom (Thursday, 9 ET/PT, * * out of four) is not the first — and won't be the last — TV series to embrace the template that gave Fox a breakthrough hit in House: The arrogant, irascible, self-and-other-loathing, personally flawed but professionally brilliant protagonist. In House he was a doctor; in the deservedly short-lived Rake, he was a lawyer; and in Backstrom, he's a detective — but they're all variations on the same theme.

In terms of impact and the initial impression it creates, Backstrom is not House, but that's not the crucial issue. The problem is that Rainn Wilson is not Hugh Laurie — and that's not only a large problem; it's an unsolvable one.

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