25 October 2005 | thesnowleopard
Boy, is it back
Watching the new Da Vinci's City Hall after seven seasons of Da Vinci's Inquest is a bit like playing MahJong--same pieces, same board, totally different configurations. Or, as the show's new motto goes: "Same Da Vinci. Same Vancouver. More lives in the balance." DVI is not the first show to get a face lift. It's just more honest than other shows in changing its name when it did it. As usual, the beginning of this season is a lot brighter and harder, cinematographically-speaking, than the end of last season, reflecting the change in external lighting between Vancouver's summer (when filming for each season starts) and Vancouver's winter (when filming ends). But the new show also comes across as brighter and harder, especially in the opening scene of Da Vinci glad-handing under the harsh lights of a nighttime racetrack.
Everyone is in a different situation: Da Vinci is mayor; Mick Leary is coroner; Angela Kosmo is back in Homicide but paired up with an old enemy; Chick is in Homicide; Zack is working undercover for Da Vinci; Leo Shannon has retired and "moved on", as Chick puts it; Bill the Police Chief, and his familiar Charlie Klotchko, are still around but chafing at having Da Vinci for their new boss. And there are new friends and potential enemies to match the new font in the new show titles--Da Vinci's two "handlers", an angry businessman, an even angrier gay rights advocate and a really torqued off homeless advocate. Some of these new characters are interesting, but most are pretty flat compared to the regulars, who have the advantage of lots of show history; introductory exposition is kept to a skeletal minimum in this pilot. Hopefully, these new characters will plump out eventually, but if they don't, I'm sure the regulars will take up the slack. The irony of the premiere's title--"Zero to Sixty Pretty Quick"--is that not only Da Vinci is expected to get up to speed in an hour, but so is the audience. It's a brand, new show; but it's also season eight. Vintage Da Vinci.