Our Kind of People Serves Up an All-Too-Familiar Class War Soap Opera
Our Kind of People. Fox. Tuesday, September 21, 9 p.m.
Two ancient and thoroughly regrettable television themes recur tonight as broadcast TV’s anemic fall roll-out of new shows continues. One is the inexplicable CBS affection on dullard police-procedural shows about the FBI. The addition of FBI: International makes three of them on the air at the moment. Advance screener episodes weren’t provided to critics, so I can’t say with absolute authority that it’s a dog—but anytime a network turns down free publicity for one of its shows, it’s a strong indicator of canine DNA.
The other elderly chestnut being reroasted tonight is that of costume dramas about the tragic problems of the one-percenters. From Dallas to Downton Abbey, from Succession to Billions, TV keeps trying to expand upon F. Scott Fitzgerald’s oh-so-insightful remark, “Let me tell you about the very rich. They are different from you and me.” (Rather less effort has been expended on Ernest Hemingway’s rejoinder, “Yes, they have more money.”) This has mutated from a trend to an obsession: There’ve been five versions or spinoffs of Beverly Hills 90210, four of Dynasty, and various incarnations of Upstairs, Downstairs tyrannized the BBC for more than four decades.
Admittedly, some of these expeditions into gilt and glitter have been fun. I watched both The O.C. and the original Gossip Girl to their Jordache-ripping finales. Alas, Fox’s new addition to the genre, Our Kind of People, doesn’t quite rise (or is it sink?) to that level.
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