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For his first major role in a TV series, actor Bill Paxton played a man trying to maintain his marriage to three different wives in the HBO drama Big Love. For his second, he’s playing a corrupt but still highly qualified LAPD detective in CBS’ upcoming small screen reimagining of Antoine Fuqua’s hit 2001 feature Training Day. And he is definitely the best part about the new show’s first trailer, as seen below.
I’m a big fan of Training Day as a feature, and the story told therein of a morally fluctuating cop and his nerve-rattled trainee is malleable enough that I wasn’t as bothered by this adaptation’s announcement as I am by many ill-conceived reboots. (And if we’re being honest, this trailer would work just as well if it wasn’t tied to the film’s license and was just called Cop School or Off the Cuffs or something.) Thankfully, the trailer makes this serialized Training Day look like it could be not only CBS’ best new drama of the fall, but one of the most engaging originals in its lineup.
Bill Paxton is Detective Frank Rourke, whose morals are presumably equal to the articles of clothing that he’s bought in the past decade. As the head of the Special Investigation Section, he started putting away dangerous criminals when today’s newest thieves weren’t even born yet, and he’s obviously picked up some bad habits along the way that aren’t limited to blowing shit up and driving around with people in the trunk.
His behavior hasn’t gone unseen, however, and the untainted Kyle Craig (Justin Cornwell) is brought in to serve as the upper LAPD brass’ eyes and ears on Rourke by becoming the elder detective’s trainee. It’s obviously a high-stress and mentally challenging gig, especially since Craig isn’t exactly being honest with the superior officer currently showing him the oh-so-taut ropes. With Craig looking to gain revenge for a tragedy in his past, he forms an always teetering kinship with Rourke that will take their lives in completely different directions. And if it also involves Craig getting high on PCP and freaking out for part of an episode, that’d be a good scene from the movie to recreate.
Training Day is being written by Gangster Squad screenwriter Will Beall, with director Danny Cannon behind the camera for at least the pilot episode. The drama also stars Katrina Law and Drew Van Acker as Rourke’s underlings Rebecca Lee and Tommy Campbell, respectively. She’s a hardnosed officer with a mysterious past and he’s a former surfer whose loyalty to Rourke doesn’t sway. As well, Julie Benz will play a Hollywood madam and Rourke’s girlfriend, while Marianne Jean-Baptiste plays an LAPD Deputy Chief that puts Craig in danger. It’s possible that Ethan Hawke may show up somehow in the future, but that’s still up in the air.
While it was great to watch Bill Paxton take on limited roles in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Texas Rising, nothing sounds better right now than watching full seasons of him as a slimy and cocksure cop who’s always got both the upper hand and the underhand on those around him. Training Day won’t be on CBS’ fall schedule, but we can expect it to make its bullet-ridden debut during the midseason. In the meantime, our summer TV schedule has everything premiering and returning in the coming months.