The new trend in series is to have whack-a-doodles helping others think outside the box. Damaged somehow, if not full on mental disorders. Perception has a delusional psych professor helping the FBI; the Mentalist uses someone whose family was murdered by a serial killer to track the serial killer; House and Monk were, to some at least, just plain nuts.
The latest incarnation is Cracked, a Canadian production just starting on its first season on CBC. The main character is a top cop, who has done great stints you learn in the elite units of the department — homicide, even tactical. After a tense situation, he’s trying to get some coffee and an irate citizen starts ranting, etc. Enough to set him off on a small psychotic-like break — he starts bawking like a chicken, while in full uniform, in front of a whole coffee shop. Awkward, right? Anyway, he gets reassigned to be a lead detective in a new unit that deals with psych-crimes — anything with a psychological dimension (like a deranged or distrubed person) and they get the case. Not exactly a winning strategy with homicide, but them’s the breaks. His boss is happy with him generally, and he’s there ostensibly to take a break from his high-pressure previous job. Not to mention, as he does, that if you’re looking for someone who’s a bit bananas, it doesn’t hurt to have the lead detective be half-way up a banana tree himself.
The case was relatively linear, and it was interesting to see what was essentially deductive reasoning following the clues. It felt very much like a low-budget Law and Order: SVU, maybe L&O: Psych Crimes would be more accurate.
There are five main actors/characters in the show so far — Aidan, played by hunky David Sutcliffe who looks very familiar but none of his resume items leap out at me … he was big on Gilmore Girls, but I never watched it; Daniella, his forensic psychiatrist partner who refuses to carry a gun, played by Stefanie von Pfetten (lots of little credits, nothing big); Poppy as another member of the team, played by Luisa D’Oliveira (small credits); Leo as a psychiatric nurse, played by Dayo Ade from old Degrassi Junior High fame or more recently, the L.A. Complex show on Muchmusic; and Diana, their boss. Diana is played by Karen LeBlanc, and while I’m happy to see her here, I’d be much happier if they put her back on Defying Gravity — I’m still bitter they didn’t finish that show. Sigh.
Not the best, not the worst. But it was interesting at the end of the show to see Aidan really open up with a suspect, talking about the darkness that is inside himself, showing that the chicken imitation was not a simple “trauma” reaction, but linked to something much darker inside of him. One of the few redeeming qualities and I’ll give it a couple of episodes probably.