3 out of 5
Created by: Dean Devlin
The Librarians was a fun show. Maybe not good one, per se, as it was frequently pretty predictable, and dad-humored, and not especially deep, but it was always an easy watch, and rewarded returning viewers with some nice tweaks to its lore and characters along the way. It was, in general, very enjoyable pap, and in an overcrowded TV landscape, that’s pretty valuable! So when The Librarians departed for cancelled TV pastures, it left a particular pap-shaped hole in my heart.
Almost Paradise shares a creator with the Librarians franchise – Dean Devlin – and ports over the ebullient Christian Kane from that series to play the lead, former DEA Agent Alex Walker. Alex Walker is a very pap TV name.
The opening credits of the first episode comfortingly explain the back story: that Walker has been stressed out into retirement, and has moved to a Fillipino island to, y’know, start a gift shop. But them bad guys keep comin’ outta the woodwork, and what’s a former DEA Agent to do? …And so said pap-shaped hole has now been filled.
While Almost Paradise is lacking the fun fantasy edge of Librarians, it’s replaced with a good blending of cop procedural – Alex brings in the DEA methodology, blends it with the local police’s – and easy-going fish out of water humor, which isn’t very funny but is committed to so energetically by the cast that you kinda smile anyway. The two detectives Alex often finds himself inadvertently partnered with, Kai and Ernesto, are a bit stiffly acted by Samantha Richelle and Arthur Acuña, respectively, but such is Devlin’s skill with setting up these instantly-watchable shows that the stiffness somehow works with the whole premise, and within a short, 10-episode season, you come to dig the balance of patter between these characters.
The procedural stuff dips in to heavy material on occasion, and is again, the team – also including our directors and writers – commits to this stuff, but fear not: it’s nothing that’s going to stick with you past the end of the episode. All is good in pap-land. And I’m glad to be back.