TV Review | Cra$h & Burn 1.1 – “God Protect Us”

Cra$h & Burn (Showcase: premiered November 18, 9:00 PM ET/PT) bases itself around insurance claims adjuster Jimmy Burn (Luke Kirby), as he patrols Hamilton, Ontario‘s city streets.  The show is sold as The Office meets The Sopranos,” according to show creator Malcolm MacRury.

I appreciate that Cra$h & Burn is set in the Hammer, but its high concept shouldn’t work.  Insurance isn’t normally seen as a sexy profession.  This is Showcase’s first hour-long drama, so Showcase’s reputation in this genre will be defined by how well C&B does.  It’s not a good start so far.

Cra$h & Burn‘s first episode is rather paint-by-numbers.  Luke Kirby is okay as Burn, a guy from the streets trying to make it in the world of insurance claims adjusting.  He’s about to be married, giving girlfriend Lucia Silva (Leela Savasta) a $2,000 diamond ring.

Burn might also lose his job at Protected Insurance in a round of cutbacks.  Yeah, like that’s going to happen in the first episode.  Burn’s chief antagonist is insurance fraud, personified in Cra$h & Burn by former Russian mobster Pavel Korkov (Steve Bacic).  Burn is the lone “good guy” in a cutthroat business, though Burn has help from mentor Walker Hearn (Clark Johnson).

Dan Duran is the Man From Protected, appearing in a fake commercial segment at the beginning of the show.  Duran doesn’t appear on the show very long, but he’s the best part of Cra$h & Burn.  C&B could be his most lucrative dramatic television gig since RoboCop.

The main problem with Cra$h & Burn is that, despite ganking from The Sopranos and The Office, the show is relatively tame.  This is Showcase, the home of Kenny vs. Spenny, Trailer Park Boys, Paradise Falls and other near-the-knuckle fare.  Cra$h & Burn should be pushing harder than it is, considering the channel.

Cra$h & Burn has a bit of simulated sex, some swearing, and even projectile vomiting, but it’s farfetched.  The show’s a throwback to 1990s lightweight Canadian dramas, Due South with more peeing.  Shit, pair Burn with a straight-laced Mountie and his wolf-husky hybrid, and you’d have Due South.

Cra$h & Burn has the potential to rise above a mediocre pilot.  The show’s not going to last if it’s constant Burn Against Corruption.  Not every drama in this country needs to be Intelligence, but Cra$h & Burn could be a little less cartoonish.  At least it’s not The Listener, which is hardly an endorsement.

C. Archer
Le Social