27 June 2002 | Pizzaburn
Busted for Being Criminally Ambitious
I remember Cop Rock fondly. It was an attempt to deliver the Broadway musical style to the popular police story genre. Now, I'm not one of those "Aren't we so cosmopolitan" self-congratulatory Broadway mavens, but I can appreciate a storyline interrupted by a soliloquy, even if it's musical - even if it's rock music! I distinctly remember an excellent opening scene of one episode, where the police are busting a crowd purchasing pot, loading the customers on a bus, as one detainee sings heartily about his civil rights being trampled. The cast was truly exceptional for a TV show, but the producers did not have proper respect for the amount of time and polishing necessary to deliver Broadway style entertainment. There was a lot of good stuff, but such material cannot be extruded at the rate needed for the voracious TV box. The general public could not forgive the uneven quality. I can't blame them, but there were payoffs for the patient. Live audiences collude with the performers, but TV viewers want to be entertained NOW, or they will click to the other 120 channels.
There was a clever end tacked on the final episode. It opens up with Ronny Cox and Curtis Vonde-Hall talking, and you quickly realize that they are not playing their characters. They are playing themselves discussing the impending cancellation. It's over when the fat lady sings, so the final pullaway has the entire cast onstage, with a Wagnerian Valkyrie, singing goodbye. Cool.