'Deputy' reintroduces Stephen Dorff as a cop but more than the job, Hollister is a misfit for the times
Unintentionally preachy and intentionally quite braggy of his fifth-generation heritage, Dorff's Hollister loves the minorities and his quest for seeking them justice and protection
This article contains spoilers for episode 1: 'Graduation Day'
Network cop shows are signified by two polarized concepts of TV cops — the snarky, seasoned experts from shows like 'NCIS' and 'Chicago PD', and the hilarious goofball cluster of misfits from 'Brooklyn Nine-Nine'.
Neither of them somehow fit the archetypical requirements of what men of the law were back in the day, but looks like Fox's new cop drama, 'Deputy's protagonist — Bill Hollister — might come as a respite for fans of the stereotype.
In an episode of the Fox-turned-NBC brainchild — 'Nine-Nine!', we meet writer Jimmy Brogan who used to document iconic cops from the 70s into high octane books, bragging about all their machismo and undaunted bravery.
He was talking about a time when lawmen acted like proper men kicking ass to assert the law — something that the character felt was lost in today's times. Luckily for Brogan, Hollister is a cardboard cutout of what lawmen used to be and should be.
Played by Stephen Dorff, who is no stranger to the genre after having wowed us consistently back in 'True Detective', Hollister slightly falls short of the mark compared to Roland West from the HBO show.
However, Dorff putting the badge on once again after a short hiatus following the third season of 'True Detective' has to amount to something.
Even though unintentionally preachy and intentionally quite braggy of his fifth-generation heritage, Dorff's Hollister loves the minorities and his quest for seeking them justice and protection — something that's sure to be an immediate hit with the contemporary PC-rave.
Apart from his "f**k the law" approach in doing his job that he professes requires only three things — badge, gun, and heart — Hollister's biggest crisis is struggling to fit into the job that was dumped on him when his predecessor dies from a sudden heart attack.
But as he takes on the role to rid the LA county of all the bad guys — both on the streets and within the police force — it's almost as if Hollister struggles more to fit into the times than he does into his job.
In that, running around town protecting the innocent in 2020 is a difficult job to do when you're like one of Brogan's fantasy cops who allegedly drank till 3 am and went to work at 7 because hangovers didn't exist in their world.
Hollister fits the mark so well. It is almost unsettling to imagine what's more to come now that he has the badge. And that's not just because of his prehistoric ideologies about the law clashing with a tightly controlled bureaucratic office.
Setting the show apart from its contemporaries is an attempt to rebrand Dorff's brand of TV detective into a Western classic with his denim jacket, hat, and the signature staw stuck between his teeth.
For all the badassery he flaunts and projects, Hollister's soft spots — even though very few — are intense. He adores his wife like any ideal male lead is supposed to and cares fondly for his deceased partner's newly deputized son who is also Hollister's godson.
In terms of dynamics, Hollister is cautious about his teenage daughter turning into a "feral Kardashian" because of her evolving risque fashion sense.
His quips are amplified when he meets his extremely young security detail Deputy Bishop who shadows him in true Bex-Taylor Klaus manner, yet falls on the receiving end of jabs at her age.
'Deputy' is not problematic neither propagate the toxic cop persona, even though most of the time, Hollister's job description seems to involve braggy statements about his views of the law.
He says things like "I don't give a pinch of dried turd how those folks got here. We're all immigrants. I gave my word I'd protect them." He likes going on car chases and doesn't give a darn about destructing thousands of dollars worth of public property.
But for all the ancient dinosaur type droning he goes on and on with at times, it's amusing how much he knows about Miley Cyrus and pop culture, allowing us to conclude that his awareness of all things contemporary bears a striking contrast with his opinions on how to handle all things contemporary.
And it's a good comeback for Dorff with the ambitiously aiming to be a Western nightmare series. An entertaining watch no doubt, but only if you're above the age of 60.
'Deputy' airs on Thursdays at 9 pm only on Fox.