Picks and Pans Review: The Unusuals

updated 04/20/2009 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 04/20/2009 AT 01:00 AM EDT

ABC, Wednesdays, 10 p.m. ET/PT |

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The tone of this hour-long series feels as if the cops on Law & Order and The Shield watched old Barney Miller episodes in their downtime. It's grim yet jocular—and trying too hard to really succeed on either note.

Amber Tamblyn is a young Manhattan cop who has trouble getting anyone to take her seriously, perhaps because she's always fielding calls from her socialite mother. Meanwhile, Adam Goldberg (a cop with a death wish) and Harold Perrineau (a cop with a panic disorder) force a confession out of a suspect by locking him in a squad car with a bunch of cats. The best thing here is what's least unusual: Jeremy Renner, as a detective who's just lost his partner, has the classic hard-boiled looks of a pulp-fiction hero.

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