In this line of work, you have a tendency to see a lot of copycat television shows. These shows emulate a popular type or specific series and are usually content with mediocre ratings. However, out of the fire of the various copycat shows, we sometimes get a diamond in the rough. This is a diamond that people will shrug off and proclaim as anything but worthwhile television viewing. But once they actually sit down and watch a few episodes, they’ll be hooked for good.
When we left season one of Flashpoint, the Strategic Response Unit wasn’t one hundred percent. Jules (played by Amy Jo Johnson) had been shot and her secret boyfriend, Sam Braddock (played by David Paetkau) realizes that Jules might break up with him. The reason for this is that she thinks the relationship is putting a strain on the team which she has put first.
While Jules recovers and the two are figuring out what to do, Sergeant Gregory Parker (played by Enrico Colantoni) and Ed Lane (played by Hugh Dillon) are restructuring the team and hiring somebody to fill the void of Jules until she recovers. They find a young woman by the name of Donna Sabine (played by Jessica Steen) who is an expert shot and would make a valuable team member.
Being in the Strategic Response Unit is an extremely demanding job and when decisions in crunch time go south or lead to a very solemn fate, Donna is finding it difficult to cope and function properly. Meanwhile, Jules has come to a decision about the relationship of herself and Sam. However, will both of them be able to live with the consequences as the team tackles tough negotiations and improbable outcomes each and every episode.
One of the things I immediately liked about the new season was the introduction of new characters and reoccurring characters made into regulars. We got Jessica Steen who showed some real emotion in her difficulty to adapting on the force while Amy Jo was away on pregnancy (written off by the bullet wound). In particular, we saw the rise of three characters that were kinda in the background but pushed to a heavier supporting role.
They were Mike Scarlatti, Kevin Wordsworth and Lewis Young (played by Sergio Di Zio, Michael Cram and Mark Taylor respectively). This rounded out the team and made them feel like a full seven person unit rather than the four main characters. One could see a real team formed despite the challenges and obstacles they faced on a per episode basis.
The show spent a lot of time in the first season setting up characters and establishing relationships whether on an intimate or business level. The second season becomes better than the first because they build on the strong stories while keeping the same nucleus. They master the art of dealing with many shades of grey rather than painting stories as black and white. The show can tear at your heartstrings but it doesn’t over do anything and makes the show seem actually genuine.
The video is in 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen. Toronto is still very pretty (and we actually hear the show mention Toronto during an episode for the first time) and that means lots of great shots in each and every episode. Color is superb and I’ve really come to enjoy what next big building or skyline is going to be involved from show to show. Good presentation all around here.
We get a Dolby Digital 5.1 English sound track (2.0 mix also included) for the show. Dialog is clear and the track has improved a lot since Season 1. Surrounds are actually used for both talking and action scenarios but it is still very front heavy. I still don’t understand why there isn’t a French track or at least some subtitles but the track is good nevertheless.
- Previews: CBS TV, Twin Peaks, and Star Trek.
- Stunts 3:46: Randy Butcher is the stunt coordinator here and he shows off a couple of high intensity stunts.
- Weapons 3:24: Hugh Dillon, Sergio Di Zio and other members of the cast and crew go over the various weapons and how they have to be comfortable with them to look effective in the show.
- Hugh Dillon: “Works Well with Others” 4:26: Apparently when Ed Lane goes off camera, he turns into Hugh Dillon, mega song star. He channels some Bruce Willis here as far as singing goes, this is mostly just music footage of Hugh. Yes, there is a harmonica part too.
Even though the second season was short by most standards, thankfully this series is not over quite yet. The third season has aired in Canada and will play in the US as a CBS summer replacement with nine more episodes. Unfortunately for the casual viewer, this is a show that has the potential to get lost in the shuffle if you really don’t sit down and watch it. There are many wonderful stories here from episode to episode making this one of my favorite dramas in recent memory.
The dvd package is also fairly strong as it has a solid presentation even if it only has a few extras. Maybe for the next season, they will actually include a few commentaries. Hopefully, the show will last a few more seasons and actually develop a following beyond the Canadian borders. This gets one of my highest recommendations as it is easy to get into but hard to stay away from. Enjoy.
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The Perfect Family