Join Bill Hixon, played by Rob Lowe as he embarks on an adventure in unchartered territory of Boston, East Lincolnshire in WILD BILL.
Set against the backdrop of the dreary country wind turbines, Rob Lowe (Bill Hixon) goes about trying to solve crimes as the newly appointed chief constable of the local police. Drafted in from the States to fix the broken force, Bill is quick to make promises and somehow goes about keeping them.
The first episode of Wild Bill focuses on a small circle of characters. The main one, Bill is a lone wolf Police Chief originally from Miami. We don’t know much about Bill initially, other than the fact that he has a smarter than smart teenage daughter. We also see that his American standards are a mismatch for a provincial, English system facing Policing cuts and an epidemic of apathy.
Bill’s approach to solving the murder mystery that seems to unravel in a local fridge is a little slap dash but strangely loveable at the same time. He plays up to American stereotypes as much as England plays up to its own in this episode. Be prepared for jokes about teeth, cowboy hats and pointless procedures.
The other characters include Bill’s teenage daughter Kelsey (Aloreia Spencer), a fish out of water in the English private schooling system. Bill is able to draw parallels between the loss that the 19 year old murder victim’s mother faces and his emotionally estranged relationship with his own daughter. The reason for this eventually comes to surface near the end of the episode.
Angie (Susan Lynch), the murder victim’s mother and Kelsey seem to bond after a babysitting mishap leaves Bill with no childcare and Angie just so happens to turn up at their home. This relationship is a little bizarre if not completely unprofessional.
Another important character is DC Muriel Yeardsley (Bronwyn James), Bill’s sidekick. She clearly bears the weight of the force on her shoulders. It is her weight however that becomes topic of conversation.
After one episode of Wild Bill, I felt disorientated and I can’t help thinking that the whole thing was a little slapdash and definitely very corny. The murder investigation was rushed and seemed a bit too straight forward to solve. It was also all too easy for Bill to ‘save the day’ rather effortlessly without ado.
There are also no doubts about Hollywood star Rob Lowe taking this role very seriously. Having said all of this, I appreciated the comical, light-hearted tone of the programme - if there is such a thing when it comes to dealing with crime. The local feel of the town and police force made it uniquely British and rather loveable.
Whatever the reservations, it is still early days and as the programme gains momentum, we may find that things become a little less two dimensional. Now that the main characters have been introduced to us, we could find that more time is spent on the solving of the crime. Only time will tell.
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