Picks and Pans Review: The Insiders
ABC (Thurs., Sept. 26, 8 p.m. ET)
Speaking for reporters everywhere, let me say that we're sick of shows that try to make our business look glitzy and glamorous (like last season's Glitter) or cool (like this season's West 57th) or simply ludicrous—like The Insiders. The reporters on this show don't want bylines (ha!). And when they go on assignment, they don't carry pencils—they carry bombs. Real reporters wouldn't do that; there's no line for "explosives" on their expense accounts. But The Insiders' lack of realism is the least of its problems. The show is another cut-rate clone of Miami Vice. And one of its stars, Stoney Jackson, is a clone of Prince; neither guy can grow a decent moustache. The script has tinges of racism, presuming, for instance, that because Jackson's character is black he must know how to steal cars—a skill he teaches to co-star Nicholas Campbell so they can commit crimes to get a story. The script also puts oh-come-on lines like this in Campbell's mouth: "I want the story! I want to know how big it is!" A real reporter would say: "I want a byline! I want it big!" If The Insiders were a newspaper and I were a fish, I'd resent being wrapped in it.
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