Ostrow: Mismatched cops conflict in CBS play "Battle Creek"

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Here’s an peculiar integrate CBS can be unapproachable of — Dean Winters and Josh Duhamel, a incompatible patrolman partners in “Battle Creek,” premiering Mar 1, locally during 9 p.m. on Channel 4.

Whereas a network’s reconstitute of a comedy array “The Odd Couple” feels unnecessary, quirky play “Battle Creek” has a earnest tone.

Rather than redo a informed slob-vs.-neatnik enlightenment clash, this span move well-thought-out backstories to their sparring, suggesting some-more underneath a surface. They are nuanced, psychologically involving characters who strife though who also evolve, interestingly.

The backstory to a array is by now good known: Vince Gilligan was a little-known TV author when he had a idea, some 10 years ago, for a quirky patrolman play set on a meant streets of Battle Creek, Mich. After his “Breaking Bad” became one of a defining shows of a decade, Gilligan and his aged book were unexpected in demand.

“Battle Creek” is constructed by Gilligan, “Breaking Bad” writer Mark Johnson and “House” creator David Shore. The parochial touches have a ring of Gilligan; a ongoing amusement moving Winters’ impression is tangible to anyone who desired a reclusive Dr. House.

It’s not a buddy-com so most as an odd-couple drama, with criminals.

Winters plays Detective Russ Agnew, a deeply cynical, rough-around-the edges patrolman in an underfunded patrol room with terribly antiquated equipment. He is a good cop, good wakeful of his flaws and questionable of anyone who appears flawless.

Duhamel plays Special Agent Milt Chamberlain, an impossibly fit and handsome, amazingly guileless and now precious newcomer, full of new record from a FBI, and superb contacts. He’s been everywhere, knows everybody and stays ideally upbeat.

Don’t be astounded if it turns out both personal styles are required to solve some of a internal cases.

Beyond a non-buddies, a city plays a vital role, full of surprises and constantly subverting a expectations.

Kal Penn and Janet McTeer are standouts among a ancillary expel — Penn (“House”) as Detective Fontanelle White; McTeer (“Albert Nobbs,” “Tumbleweeds”) as Cmdr. Guziewicz — both underused so far.

Additionally, Liza Lapira appears as Detective Jacocks, Damon Herriman as Detective Niblet (nicknamed for his petite teeth), Edward Fordham Jr. as Detective Aaron Funkhauser and Aubrey Dollar as Holly Dale, a bureau manager who interests Agnew.

Judging by a initial handful of episodes, “Battle Creek” is a tad some-more individualist than a common CBS drama, a lovely step over a procedural format. Not a severe series, though a watchable one.

Joanne Ostrow: 303-954-1830, jostrow@denverpost.com or twitter.com/ostrowdp

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