Backstrom: Is Fox's Newest Antihero a Case Worth Cracking?

“I don’t see the worst in everyone. I see the everyone in everyone.”

For Detective Lt. Everett Backstrom, that’s all the justification he needs to act the way he does — that is, crass, blunt and totally rude.

In Fox’s new cop drama — created by Bones‘ Hart Hanson and based on a set of novels by Swedish criminologist Leif G.W. Persson — The Office‘s Rainn Wilson stars as the titular detective, who is admittedly excellent at his job.

He’s just not so great at the “people skills” thing.

Rounding out Backstrom’s police squad are Sgt. John Almond (24‘s Dennis Haysbert), Detective Nicole Gravely (Genevieve Angelson, House of Lies), Sgt. Peter Niedermayer (Kris Polaha, Life Unexpected) and Officer Frank Moto (Page Kennedy, Weeds) — all of whom recognize that Backstrom is a deeply flawed human who sees the glass as half-empty, but they respect his tactics nonetheless.

It’s hard not to, given that Backstrom is able to piece together the homicide of a senator’s son in the premiere episode. He picks up on the details that others overlook, and it sure does help that he’s not afraid to make a few people cry in the process.

In fact, Backstrom can most easily be described as the detective version of Dr. House. He’s even got his own set of health issues (an enlarged heart, among other maladies) and his own vices that help him cope (alcohol and cigars instead of Vicodin). Sure, he’s The World’s Biggest Pessimist who can’t bear to eat broccoli — but he’s great at what he does. Which makes it OK, I guess…?

That’s for you to decide. Grade the premiere episode of Backstrom in our poll below, then hit the comments to back up your choice!

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