Flashpoint: Season Two, Volume 1

Flashpoint: Season Two, Volume 1
Because Canadian television typically leans towards the awkward and sloppy, much fuss was made about Flashpoint when it debuted, given its competence and overall American aesthetic (save for the Toronto scenery). It seems the secret to making compelling Canuck entertainment is to take the bland procedural template of every crappy CBS crime show and replicate it so viewers get that same numbing effect to which they are accustomed. You can time climaxes and episode progression down to the second from week to week, missing half of an episode without fear of being unable to catch up. It's the perfect show to watch while cooking dinner, or cleaning, or avoiding self-reflection. In this sense, the first nine episodes of season two included in this three-disc box set are exactly the same, and as effective, as those offered in season one. In between hostage situations, kidnappings and bomb threats, Sam Braddock (David Paetkau) and Jules Callaghan (Amy Jo Johnson), of an elite Special Forces unit, quietly flirt while Ed Lane (Hugh Dillon) offers macho support to an emotionally wounded Sgt. Gregory Parker (Enrico Colantoni). Probably the biggest stir-up comes when Jules is injured on the job and Donna (Jessica Steen) comes in to replace her, leaving Sam to toss out disapproving looks. Episodically, the unit protects and serves, maintaining what appears to be a mostly Conservative, Christian status quo, as the villains are almost always Liberal crazies and folks with untraditional upbringings. In fact, at least four of the nine episodes on these discs praise the merits of the nuclear family, suggesting that anyone outside of that cycle is psychotic, which might explain the appeal of the show to Prairie audiences. All of the lead characters have the same modes of deductive reasoning, vocabulary and worldview, so pesky humanity doesn't get in the way of the propulsive trajectory of each episode, wherein people run and drive around with guns, for the most part. That said, this is exactly what mainstream audiences want, and the Flashpoint folks are doing a fantastic job of giving them their fill, even if most of the writing feels more like what they think the audience wants to hear rather than what the writers actually want to say. Included with the DVD is a Hugh Dillon music video montage. No comment. (Phase 4)