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TV Review: FX's 'The Bridge'

FX premieres The Bridge, a crime drama investigating murders at the Mexican-American border, on Wednesday at 10 p.m. The following are reviews from TV critics around the Web, compiled by B&C.

RELATED: FX’s Border Shift Builds ‘Bridge’ to Viewers

“[W]hat’s most compelling about The Bridge is that it emphasizes not the psychology or forensics of the case but its context…  It’s a twist on an old cop-story formula, i.e., the stickler for regulations (a side effect of her condition) paired with a cop who works in the gray areas (an outgrowth of professional necessities in his department).”

-James Poniewozik, TIME

“It has its good points and its less good points, but there’s enough of the former to merit a look.”

-Robert Lloyd,Los Angeles Times

The Bridge is one of those shows where the best qualities - the acting, the smart and precise pacing - function as an effective distraction from the goopy plate of Tex-Mex being served alongside a helping of refried beans. ”

-Hank Stuever, Washington Post

“An excess of ambition may be part of the problem with The Bridge. The cinematography and music are moody, evocative and overly intrusive - the filmmaking is too self-conscious ever to relax into true creativity.”

-Alessandra Stanley, New York Times

The Bridge plays everything straight - except that Bichir, who’s so charismatic and unpredictable as the Mexican cop, is just as likely to break into a wry smile as a sudden outburst. And Kruger’s Sonya is flat-out unpredictable; the two of them, like the two mismatched investigators of The Killing, make this new murder mystery an intriguing character study.”

-David Bianculli, NPR

“The first hour of The Bridge is a very creative way to tell a story that hasn’t been told very often (at least on television) nor very well (anywhere), and that’s the border connection plus social and class issues between the two countries… The Bridge is another fine addition to the FX arsenal. The cast…is impressive at every turn. The writers have put enough emphasis on aspects other than the serial killer to make the show intriguing, there’s an endless supply of Texas-Juarez localisms that make for fascinating material, and one could imagine the big issue of immigration and the even bigger, but less studied, notions of freedom, opportunity and justice sustaining The Bridge for many seasons.

-Tim Goodman, The Hollywood Reporter

“[Demian Bichir’s] portrayal of an honest but frightened man trapped in a corrupt, violent society is both moving and chilling — and his warmth gives the show its precious few lighter moments.”

-Robert Bianco, USA Today

“Dramatically speaking, Kruger’s character is clearly the weak link, a failure in terms of both conception and casting. Virtually robotic in her actions and dialogue, she’s utterly lacking in people skills - Monk, without the overt diagnosis to explain her odd behavior… Flawed is one thing…but juxtaposed with the otherwise grim tone those tics become the show’s Cross to bear, an incongruous distraction from the myriad plots surrounding the central mystery…”

-Brian Lowry, Variety

“FX’s The Bridge looks, sounds and feels like another “Important with a capital I” show (think Breaking Bad, Homeland, The Americans), but like the best of this breed of cable shows, its entertainment value trumps whatever message it’s trying to convey.”

-Liz Raftery, TV Guide

“Mismatched cops forced to work together is one of the oldest TV tropes in the book, but The Bridge builds such a realistic, detailed world around the detectives here that the dynamic is often fresh.”

-Maureen Ryan, Huffington Post

“At times, the show feels almost as dense to viewers as the case feels to the characters. It’s got an inherent intrigue, though, and even before we fully understand the mystery, Kruger has us rooting for Cross to solve it.”

-David Hinckley, New York Daily News