The Rookie: ‘Pilot’ – Review

The Rookie premieres October 16th on ABC.

By Ariba Bhuvad

Nathan Fillion is back on television, and this time he is all set to portray a real person. That’s right, The Rookie is based on true events in which Fillion plays a 40-year old man named John Nolan who decides to make a drastic change in life when he joins LAPD as the oldest rookie. The ABC series also stars Afton Williamson (Talia Bishop), Eric Winter (Tim Bradford), Melissa O’Neil (Lucy Chen), Richard T. Jones (Wade Grey), Alyssa Diaz (Angela Lopez), and Mercedes Mason (Zoe Anderson).

The pilot episode is fairly comedic and light-hearted in the sense of John trying to adjust to being the oldest guy, but Fillion pulls it off in a way that works and I enjoyed. Some of the characters, however, try too hard and its comes across in the execution of their dialogue. Case in point is Winter’s character, Tim, who is just an a**hole all around, and sometimes tries too hard to be so. However, there is a moment in the pilot that does momentarily show a softer side to him, so there’s that.

I enjoyed the dynamic of the cast, and I think it works well for the plot of the show, and with Fillion at the front and center, everything comes together nicely. However, I’m not sold on the plot, and I think that it has potential and it may be too early to say one way or another. It is after all just the pilot episode, and not everything can be determined from the first hour, especially when character and plot development is yet to happen.

It was intriguing to learn that the story is based on true events which created allure for me while watching the pilot. The premise of this man trying to take another shot at life is inspiring, and I think that’s one of the best aspects of this show. I believe that while I’m not fully convinced that I’ll enjoy the series, my opinion may change as more episodes premiere. After all, Fillion is in the show, and anything with him is worth watching–even if it’s mediocre.

I give The Rookie a B-.