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CBS' 'Flashpoint': At Least Its Scripted

Since we’re still wallowing in the fallout from last fall’s writers’ strike, there’s reason to celebrate, rather than bemoan, the arrival of Flashpoint, which begins a summer run tonight at 10 p.m. ET on CBS.

Yes, it’s a Canadian drama series imported only because CBS was stockpiling anything it could think of to fill time slots – but hey, at least it’s scripted. That alone makes it a relatively welcome dog-days TV event.

It’s also got Enrico Colantoni, the beloved dad on Veronica Mars, exuding even more easy confidence and huggable affability in his role here as leader of a SWAT-type police unit. The city in which Flashpoint is set isn’t identified – but because of a strange-sounding vowel pronunciation or two, the use of the word “constable,” and the way no one reacts when two rugged cops break into an impromptu verse of Gilbert & Sullivan, you can pretty much rule out Detroit.

The opener, actually, isn’t bad. It’s reminiscent of the 2006 Fox series Standoff, which starred Ron Livingston as a big-city hostage negotiator, except that these officers are a lot more sensitive. One of them, played by Hugh Dillon, vomits after the tension of being the primary sniper. Another, played by Amy Jo Johnson, tries to fit in as one of the guys, but it isn’t easy… not even for a woman who, on a previous series, played the Pink Ranger on Mighty Morphin Power Rangers