That Year’s Girl: The Unusuals

by Sara Ghaleb

We don’t all have time to re-watch Buffy the Vampire Slayer or the good seasons of Fringe and Veronica Mars (although the new movie‘s a hell of a reason to make some), so if you’re looking for a single-season show with a kick-ass female lead, Sara‘s got you covered with another installment of “That Year’s Girl.” Consider it your weekend assignment.

THE UNUSUALS (13 episodes, on DVD)

Our hero: Detective Casey Shraeger, played by Amber Tamblyn, is from a rich Manhattan upbringing but just wants to be a down-to-Earth, tough-as-nails cop.

Her story: Rookie Detective Shraeger is promoted to homicide so she can help secretly find corruption in the 2nd precinct.  The show’s into the idea that everyone has a secret, but it’s best when it’s doing character or comedy, and not when it gets into the crooked-cop conspiracy.  Shraeger’s partner, Detective Walsh, is Jeremy Renner — ABC cancelled this after the Hurt Locker came out, but right before it got big.  How totally embarrassing for them.

Is a guy I have a crush on in this? People have mixed feelings on Jeremy Renner. If you’ve got a crush on Harold Perrineau or Adam Goldberg you don’t talk about much, you’re in luck.

Is a gal I have a crush on in this? Amber Tamblyn, obviously. Plus Heather Burns (Miss Rhode Island!) is around.

Your surprise fave: I liked them right away, but partners Detective Delahoy and Banks make a perfect buddy-cop pairing: one’s paranoid he’s going to die this year, while the other has a death wish after being told he only has 6 months to live.  A great set up, and it’s a delight to see them play off each other.

The OTP: Detective Banks/Bridget Demopolis (Heather Burns) is the only ship I cared about, but YMMV.

Best female friendship: Sadly, Shraeger mostly hangs out with Walsh, but she does talk to Detective Beaumont, and has a strained but vocal relationship with her mother.

Why should I watch? Brooklyn Nine Nine just ended its second season, so there’s probably a wacky, lovable, NYC-cop-show-shaped void in your life. The Unusuals has some surprising and touching cases that stayed with me, but more than anything, it’s a fun show with a great cast and bad timing.

Sara has a degree in television and a fear of squirrels (unrelated). Follow her thrilling saga on Twitter @binaryfission.

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