Picks and Pans Review: New Amsterdam

updated 03/10/2008 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 03/10/2008 AT 01:00 AM EDT

FOX, March 4, 9 p.m. ET |

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The premise is preposterous, like Law & Order retooled as romantic fantasy: Way back when—1642!—John Amsterdam was a Dutch soldier in colonial New York. After saving the life of a Native American woman, he was blessed (or cursed) with eternal life and unwithering male-model looks that will last until he meets his soulmate. At which point he becomes mortal and can maybe cash in on the pension from his current job, NYPD detective. Luckily, the pilot is directed by Lasse Hallström and has some of the slow melancholy of his movies (The Cider House Rules). And it stars a cleanly handsome Dutch actor, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, who hits the right note of ruminative longing as he hunts both for perps and his mythic dream love. You try that out on the mean streets.

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