A university is just a group of buildings gathered around a library. ~Shelby Foote

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

A Review

I watched the new NBC show Heist last night. Mostly because I like Steve Harris-- he was great on The Practice. Overall, it was pretty good. A slightly grittier Oceans 11 (the Clooney version) with a more extended back story since they have ten or so 45 minute episodes to work with.

The cast seems quite good, though the main robber guy-- Mickey O'Neil (Dougray Scott) didn't quite click with me. I think they may have given him too much back story for the initial episode (he has a daughter with a woman now married to his former partner who tried to kill him, plus he's already falling in love with the cop that is chasing him-- yikes!).

Most of the writing was sharp, and the overall storyline seems good. BUT. And yes, it's a big but (and I don't like big buts).

About 3/4s of the way through the episode there's a convoluted bit where the robbers have a cab full of money from a robbed bank. It's being chased by about nine police cars, plus a chopper or two. They swap out that cab for a regular old cab under a huge overpass-- more of a short tunnel, really-- by rolling the $ cab into the back of a moving van once it enters the tunnel and having the regular old cab (driven by a guy with no idea what's happening) drive out the other end of the tunnel.

Brilliant. Except that the only reason that works is that the nine police cars following the $ cab aren't close enough to see what happens (clearly the choppers wouldn't be able to know that the cabs had been swapped in the tunnel). And why aren't the nine police cars following the $ cab close on its heels? Because shortly before the swap, the head police detective (the woman the main thief is falling in love with), realizes that one of the nine police cars isn't actually LAPD, but robbers (unaffiliated with the main bunch we're following). So, naturally during a chase following lots of stolen money and-- as far as the police know-- a young man rigged with explosives, she orders all of the police cars to slam on their brakes. The car full of robbers isn't on the same frequency, so d/n get the order and crash into the back of one of the suddenly stopping police cars.

This delay is long enough for the $ cab to reach the tunnel and get swapped out without being seen by the nine (down to seven after the crash) police cars following it.

But how do the crooks who set up the cab switch know that the cop will pick just then to realize that one of the cars isn't full of cops AND that she'll order all the cop cars to suddenly slam on their brakes-- thus making a large enough gap to allow the switch? The answer is there is absolutely no way they could know. They don't even know that one of the cop cars is full of thieves, much less that the detective will figure it out at exactly the right moment and then everyone to suddenly stop.

I hate those kind of continuity errors-- doubly so because 1) it's pretty obvious and 2) the rest of the plot line is clever and believable.

I'll give the show another shot on Wednesday, because I like Steve Harris and because 90% of the show was very well written, but if there are many more glaring stupidities like that one, I won't be watching it beyond Wednesday. Or if the love story between the main crook and the female detective is lame-- which I'm afraid it will be.


You gotta suspend disbelief entirely for TV watching. Which is really true if you watch CNN. Or ABC. Or CBS. Or NBC. Or PBS.
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