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TV Review: The Unusuals

‘The Unusuals’ debuts Wednesday night on ABC at 10 p.m. The following is a round-up of reviews from TV critics, compiled by B&C.

“The action is frequently intercut with weird calls from the dispatcher, like a warning to look out for a ‘man in a hot dog costume … who may or may not be wielding a samurai sword.’ Occasionally, the quirkiness piles on too high.”

-Alan Sepinwall, The Star-Ledger (Newark, N.J.)

The Unusuals ultimately reminded this viewer more of the ’70s sitcom Barney Miller. Like that series, the 2nd Precinct is staffed with neurotic oddballs doing their best to survive the grind of the job.”

-Mark A. Perigard, Boston Herald

“ABC’S latest police drama, The Unusuals, manages to tap into both the dark tension and the zany absurdity of a cop’s life in New York. If you’re looking for a show that captures the best of both those worlds, however, call Wednesday night’s premiere episode a work-in-progress.”

-By David Hinckley, New York Daily News

“It careens from genre to genre, scrambling to please everybody, putting us on a treadmill that speeds up, slows down and subjects us to bumpy terrain until we’re ready to pull the red emergency-stop cord attached to our sweat pants. This description may suggest The Unusuals is thrilling. It is not. It is spastic. And yet it’s distinctive, at the very least.”

-Dan Zak, The Washington Post

“No amount of time is going to let The Unusuals…fix its tone because the series is flat-out tone deaf; a limp drama and a grating, messy misfire as a comedy. And yes, it tries to do both.”

-Tim Goodman, San Francisco Chronicle

“Clearly the show is trying to contrast humor with murder, lightening the mood with cat kidnappers and plushie hot dogs. But like too many ABC shows, it pushes the quirkiness too hard.”

-Robert Bianco, USA Today (opens in new tab)

The Unusuals fells a bit like Rescue Me, only with a little less grit and with cops instead of firefighters…And in an era of cookie-cutter procedurals, you have to appreciate its attempt to bring something fresh to the genre.”

-Chuck Barney, Associated Press