Public Service Announcement 52 of 2019: FBI

If you thought tv was short another Dick Wolf franchise, or perhaps another show set in the New York office of the FBI, Sky Witness is here to help you out: Mr Law and Order’s latest, the imaginatively-named “FBI” has its UK premiere tonight (Thursday) with a double-bill kicking off at 9pm. But will it be any good? Depends what you mean by “any good,” to be honest.

If it’s anything like Law and Order original flavour, it’ll be efficiently-made, staid and self-righteous but very watchable when it’s on daytime tv at lunchtime and you happen to come upon re-runs nestled between home makeover shows and Bargain Hunt. If it’s anything like SVU, it’ll be efficiently-made, wildly sensationalist and self-righteous, but very watchable when it’s on in double or triple bills late at night on three channels at once, and you really don’t want to go to bed yet. Or if it’s anything like Chicago Med, it’ll be efficiently made, super-soapy and self-righteous, but its watchability will depend entirely on which characters are on screen at any given moment. Dick Wolf Televisual Universe completists will have many more examples but I think you get the picture. Not that you need me to tell you – if you’ve never seen a single minute of a Dick Wolf show, congratulations, you’re a unicorn. Or perhaps you’re Jed. Anyway, in the grand tradition of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” I’m guessing this will be slick, over-wrought, determinedly unchallenging procedural television, absolutely secure in its own attitudes and rectitude but, either way, it’s not alone: Dick Wolf shows being like buses, this new one (having already been shown in the US) arrives not only with a second season already commissioned but also with its very own spin-off ”FBI: Most Wanted” ordered to series as well. All of a sudden, I am so tired. I don’t know if I can bring myself to watch this, but if I do, I’ll let you know.

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