Coming to REELZ CHANNEL on August 30th at 10 p.m. is a two-episode premier of the stations latest offering of CRACKED.

This series tells the story of Det. Aidan Black (David Sutcliffe), a cop who is hanging on a cliff’s edge by his fingernails! After a shooting that has left him rattled, his boss Inspector Diane Caligra (Karen LeBlanc) reassigns him to a new unit. It is something that hasn’t been tried before as Black goes begrudgingly.

It is called the Psych Crimes and Crisis Unit, which is a team of cops and psychiatric professionals including Dr. Daniella Ridley (Stefanie von Pfetten) and Leo Beckett (Dayo Ade). Black is partnered with Ridley and Beckett has his hands full with Det. Poppy Wisnefski (Luisa D’Oliveira).

Their assignment is to take on the cases that are complex not only as crimes but with the added psychological component. As the cases come in the new team jumps into action analyzing every aspect of a case to come up with the answers that are sometimes hard to hear.

In the middle of their work Black is recovering from a break-up with Det. Elizabeth Liette (Mayko Nguyen) that adds more stress to the situation. Eventually Inspector Caligra asks Ridley to keep an eye on Black to see how he handles himself on and off the job. Ridley also deals with St. Stephen’s Hospital and Dr. Sean McCray (Paul Popowich), who isn’t happy with losing one of his best to the police force.

As the group begins working together they learn about and from one another to make this unit something special – and that’s what it’s all about!

FINAL WORD: Sutcliffe as Det. Aidan Black is positively brilliant! In his performance is such a wide range of emotion and it is entirely believable…period. Every reaction his character has is true to who the character is. From his wise cracks and snappy one-liners to the moments of kind-heartedness I am convinced as a viewer that this is possible.

Yes, yes, yes lets get it out of the way now that Sutcliffe is also devilishly handsome and sky tall, which means the ladies, will enjoy watching the show. At the same time Det. Black is a tough-take-no-crap man’s man who is trying to figure out his place in the world and guys will readily accept him just for that alone. Translate it means on Friday nights couples will easily find his character equally interesting to watch.

Pfetten as Dr. Ridley is his partner with out a gun. Now some of us would see that as a problem dealing with events on the streets but not for this lady. Taking a smack down now and then doesn’t change the way she talks to people. From a child to a psychotic arm breaker she knows what is necessary to reach people in a slightly milder way than her counterpart. Her demeanor is composed and her voice soft but firm which makes for interesting viewing to see if it works or does she need to get tougher. Dr. Ridley’s storyline has so many places it can go and I look forward to seeing her journey.

LeBlanc as Inspector Caligra wants this unit to work but at the same time knows that the group is walking a fragile line to the non-believers. Keeping the group together, especially this group with their own set of personal idiosyncrasies is a full time job. LeBlanc plays this character as tough but fair which I appreciated.

D’Oliveira as Wisnefski is ridiculously tough for a little piece of TNT! She doesn’t have the same tone with people as Dr. Ridley and wants answers quick and fast. Her performance is seamless and spot on. Ade as Beckett is another smoothie but with a heart of gold. He is blunt when needs be but soft spoken and open as any situations may call for. The problem this character faces is balancing home life with a job that is time consuming. Ade is the balance of the group as well and it shows.

Nguyen as Det. Liette is not my all time favorite character here. Well, come on now! I understand the personal situation but hey – without spoiling anything I have to make it clear that I do not approve. Yes, I’m laughing when I say this. She does a good job of being the shut down ex-girlfriend! Popowich as McCray is another character I want to just slap off the screen – but again it’s a good thing. It means both these characters bring out a reaction that will keep everyone coming back for more.

TUBS OF POPCORN: I give CRACKED four tubs of popcorn out of five. This 13-episode series is a ‘must see!’ and I mean it. Having never been a huge fan of anything ‘CSI’ or ‘Law & Order’ it took less than 15 minutes for me to be completely hooked. The stories are very complex with the meshing of who-dun-it’s and why did they do it.

Taking serious issues and bringing awareness to light is a huge plus that this series has going for it. From Det. Black’s flawed nature to being overwhelmed trying to keep his feelings in check, Ridley’s past, being a cop having a family and trusting when you have no reason to trust are all seen in this series.

Dealing with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, bi-polar issues, cults, drug abuse, bullying, family crisis, and soldiers who return from war and only a small portion of the storylines that CRACKED follows. I sincerely applaud the writers for taking on such serious issues.

The song “Weighty Ghost” is now and forever stuck in my head. That being said the music for this series fits beautifully and I enjoyed it a lot. Here’s hoping they put out a CD of the music because I’ll snap it right up. I truly enjoy when a series takes into account the music and how it can really add more intensity and emotion to scenes.

REELZ has done it again with this series and getting everyone to watch is everybody’s job from now on! Good television has made a huge comeback and a series like CRACKED is absolutely the reason why. The idea is unique, the stories are intense and meaningful and the characters are amazing. From this Friday night on there is a new gang in town!

In the end – there is nothing wrong with being a little cracked!



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Jeri Jacquin

Jeri Jacquin covers film, television, DVD/Bluray releases, celebrity interviews, festivals and all things entertainment.


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