TV Review: Fox’s Backstrom is the boorish detective you’ll hate to hate

As a general rule, caution should be taken to avoid judging a television show by its tumultuous development process. The journey from pitch to pilot to pick-up can be circuitous and bumpy, and it’s easy to overestimate the significance of the fits and starts by which a show makes it to air. Fox’s new cop drama Backstrom, which was euthanized by CBS before Fox reanimated it, is the exception to the rule. In Backstrom‘s case, its false start actually did portend the quality of the product, and seems in hindsight like an omen unwisely ignored.

Rainn Wilson stars as Lieutenant Everett Backstrom, a misanthropic Portland detective attempting a professional comeback after spending five years exiled in the traffic division to atone for his consistently off-putting behavior. He’s drafted to lead a new department, the Special Crimes Unit, lending him the opportunity to restore his reputation for …

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