'S.W.A.T.' offers car chases, explosions, firefights

Posted

By Kevin McDonough

Proof that even the most violent and ridiculous shows are worth thinking about, CBS revives "S.W.A.T." (10 p.m., TV-14). Viewers of a certain age may recall the 1975 original series, produced by Aaron Spelling and featuring a frantic "Shaft"-inspired guitar riff in its title song.

Like the original "S.W.A.T.," this reboot arrives at a time when people have begun to question the use of military equipment and tactics to fight crime in urban areas.

The first series aired only a year after the 1974 siege of the Symbionese Liberation Army's compound in Los Angeles, a violent chapter in the Patty Hearst kidnapping saga that unfolded like a military battle. It was captured by increasingly light video cameras coming into use at that time and broadcast live via satellite technology that was just in its infancy.

This startling news story and the subsequent series changed the depiction of police on television, and in many people's minds, from the lone cop on the neighborhood beat to that of an occupying army.

In addition to featuring endless car chases, explosions and firefights, the new "S.W.A.T." stars Shemar Moore as Daniel "Hondo" Harrelson. He's a locally born and raised S.W.A.T. sergeant. Hondo's torn between loyalty to his unit and the people from his old neighborhood.

Moore might be more believable as a commander, or as a sympathetic citizen, if he weren't so darned handsome and ridiculously well-groomed. He looks like a spokesmodel for a line of skin-care products - or the Shemar Moore who appeared on "The Young and the Restless" for eight years.

CBS has a mixed record with reboots and remakes. "MacGyver" and "Hawaii Five-0" endure, but the network's remakes of "Rush Hour," "Training Day" and "Limitless" fizzled.

• Speaking of TV history, Fuse airs a 20th-anniversary broadcast of "Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderella" (8 p.m.), a big production for ABC at the time, starring Brandy ("Moesha") and Whitney Houston.

• Despite frequent accusations that television entertainment projects a "liberal" bias, concerns about health care, education, income equality and opportunity are rarely featured in TV scripts. Advertising-driven network and cable television series celebrate consumerism, not ideology. That's why "Million Dollar Listing Los Angeles" (9 p.m., Bravo, TV-14) is entering its 10th season.

Tonight's episode of "Superstore" (8 p.m., NBC, TV-14) takes a rare look at the plight of underpaid workers trying to deal with a high-deductible health care plan.

TONIGHT'S OTHER HIGHLIGHTS

• The Buffalo Bills and New York Jets meet in "Thursday Night Football" (8:20 p.m., NFL).

• Sheldon tries to make friends as "Young Sheldon" (8:30 p.m., CBS, TV-PG) returns to the schedule.

• Winter is coming on "Project Runway" (9 p.m., Lifetime, TV-PG).

• Rumors of war and baby-sitting on "Scandal" (9 p.m., ABC, TV-14).

• Kidd gets the hint on "Chicago Fire" (10 p.m., NBC, TV-14).

• Annalise pursues a class action suit on "How to Get Away With Murder" (10 p.m., ABC, TV-14).

SERIES NOTES

Auditions for Professor Proton on "The Big Bang Theory" (8 p.m., CBS, TV-PG) * Pyg makes a point on "Gotham" (8 p.m., Fox, TV-14) * Out to sea on "Grey's Anatomy" (8 p.m., ABC, TV-14) * Good grief on "Supernatural" (8 p.m., CW, TV-14) * Janet makes waves on "The Good Place" (8:30 p.m., NBC, TV-PG) * Christy goes the distance on "Mom" (8 p.m., CBS, TV-14) * Karen grieves on "Will & Grace" (9 p.m., NBC, TV-14) * Black Siren strikes on "Arrow" (9 p.m., CW, TV-14) * Too close for comfort on "Life in Pieces" (9:30 p.m., CBS, TV-PG) * A chance to report on "Great News" (9:30 p.m., NBC, TV-PG).

CULT CHOICE

Sophia Loren and Marcello Mastroianni star in the 1964 Italian import "Marriage Italian Style" (8 p.m., TCM), directed by Vittorio De Sica.

LATE NIGHT

Gabrielle Union is booked on "The Daily Show With Trevor Noah" (11 p.m., Comedy Central) * Mila Kunis, Maria Bamford and King Krule appear on "Conan" (11 p.m., TBS) * Whoopi Goldberg, Kathryn Hahn, Courtney Barnett and Kurt Vile are booked on "The Late Show With Stephen Colbert" (11:35 p.m., CBS) * Jimmy Fallon welcomes Alec Baldwin, Finn Wolfhard, Gaten Matarazzo, Caleb McLaughlin, Noah Schnapp and Elbow on "The Tonight Show" (11:35 p.m., NBC) * Kim Kardashian and Linkin' Bridge appear on "Jimmy Kimmel Live" (11:35 p.m., ABC) * Rosie O'Donnell, David France and Anton Fig visit "Late Night With Seth Meyers" (12:35 a.m., NBC) * Kristen Bell, Dianna Agron and Gary Clark Jr. appear on "The Late Late Show With James Corden" (12:35 a.m., CBS).

© 2017, United Feature Syndicate