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TV pilot review: WATERFRONT

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TV pilot review by David Blackwell

Joey Pantoliano is a great actor. I think he is now doing some of his best work in TV. He takes center stage as Mayor James 'Jimmy' Centrella (in Providence, Rhode Island)and steals the show in every scenes that he is in the pilot for the midseason series, WATERFRONT. Jimmy has some ethical questions surrounding him as he tries to make the city good. It isn't easy when his former deputy mayor is about to be indicted, the deputy mayor's replacement doesn't want the job at first, and his teenage daughter causes him grief (part of it is due to his own ego). Jimmy is a charming guy who just happens to be the center of attention and wants things his way all the time. Joe manages to carry the character with such energy and make the guy you want to be your mayor.

WATERFRONT is a very active pilot. Several storylines intertwine as we see the grease in dirty politics. Daniel Baldwin is the Attorney General and Jimmy's oldest daughter happens to work for him as a lawyer. The new deputy mayor seems out of his depth as he discovers how screwed up the system of running a city is. Meanwhile, Jimmy tries to keep organized crime out of the city government. He wants to owe nothing to them and tries to keep it that way. He gets in enough trouble over trying to fire his pain-in-the-ass city police chief, but the headlock scene in the mayor's office is one of the best scenes in the pilot.

Other than the mayor's problem's, the attorney general is trying to prosecute a retired baseball star that the police chief just want to cover up the drunk driving. A newspaper editor publishes the name of the witness (which pisses off the AG and the mayor).

Given how SMITH has already been cancelled, maybe CBS should give the 10 pm slot after THE UNIT to WATERFRONT. It would be a dynamic triple header for Tuesday of NCIS/ THE UNIT/ WATERFRONT. WATERFRONT has some heart and humor while showing the corruption in city government at the same system. A system that can't be fixed overnight and might never be totally fixed.  Too bad CBS decided to shelve the series after 4 additional episodes were filmed due to many reasons including high production costs.

this review is (c)10-13-2006 David Blackwell (updated on 11-4-2006) and cannot be reprinted without permission (except for excerpts and a link to the review). Look for additional content at http://enterlinemedia.livejournal.com and send all comments to lord_pragmagtic@hotmail.com