10 p.m. Wednesdays on NBC
Blair Underwood is a charming man. Unfortunately, as "Ironside" none of that charm is on display. It's watchable, (mostly because Blair is easy on the eyes) but it's also really forgettable.
Really I don't know why they named this show "Ironside," labeling it an update or remake or whatever of the 1967-1975 show starring Raymond Burr as a serious but kind wheelchair bound police officer with a heart. Surely in the decades that have passed and the generations that have aged, there was room for another cop with a disability. And if you're going to update it, there should probably be a more nuanced, intelligent look at disabilities, right?
Instead, Underwood's "Ironside" has a bad attitude; he's a surly guy always ready to kick butt (oh, OK not kick) and bust heads in the way that seems like what must be done to get results on TV, but in real-life is the reason some people don't trust police. His boss (Kenneth Choi) shakes his head at the violations but accepts them with a sigh. I think we're supposed to be surprised a man in a wheelchair can act this way. Aren't disabled people usually nice?
Since the shooting that injured Ironside, his former partner (Brent Saxon) has become an alcoholic mess even though Ironside seems to be just fine. Ironside has his own special unit! He evens has random sex in the chair! Life is good!
Back to that nuanced look: When was the last time you heard someone refer to someone else as "a cripple"? That actually happens in the new "Ironside." But the dumbest part is when Ironside sees a gun under a cushion and another cop marvels in surprise at his ability to spot it. Ironside explains, "You can see a lot from down here." Seriously? You mean NOBODY ELSE WOULD HAVE LIFTED THAT CUSHION?
"Ironside" has a good cast with faces you'll recognize from better shows. They do the best that they can with what they got, which is a lame script. Pun intended.