In its most recent act of reinvention of the television drama, NBC is attempting to tap into the criminal in all of us with its new show “Heist.” The basic premise of the show is simple, as all heists are, a couple of guys want to steal some stuff. But before they do, they need to get a few things in order. The show is really into details, much like the heists as well.
The main character, Mickey O’Neil (Dougray Scott), is thought to be dead, but now lives a life of crime. His partner, James Johnson (Steve Harris), is a smooth-talking tough guy with a background which has yet to be determined. Of course, both are the criminal element. On the other side is Amy Sykes (Michele Hicks), an overzealous detective aimed at bringing crime-fighting back to its glory days. And then there are her two cohorts. Billy O’Brien (Billy Gardell) is an overweight racist stereotype, and the other, Reno Wilson (Tyrese Evans), an ambitious young cop not happy to be paired with a person who hates his race.
The shame of this nice set up is the lack of true interaction between any of the cast. We have two teams that should work together and, instead seem like they are forced into it. The idea of making Billy a racist seemed odd and unnecessary considering his lovable oaf behavior in the beginning. Also the creepy, stalker relationship between Mickey and Amy also seems strained and convoluted.
At times the acting is flat and the cast lacks a sense of the whole; they seem only in it for themselves and not the show. However, the use of music and lighting makes the entire show feel more like a cinematic experience than some television show you happen across. And of course, the thrill is there for the criminal in us whenever the cops get fooled again.