Anyone else smell bacon?
Overzealous and vainglorious rookie police officer Kirill dreams of being a hero cop, but only seems to find ridicule from his peers and the ire of his supervisors. After being sent out on a cat-finding mission by his landlady, he stumbles into a shootout. After he and another cop, Detective Doug, diffuse the situation, Kirill finds himself reassigned to Seven-Zero, a paramilitary branch of the police, entrusted with capturing and/or killing users of a dangerous, mutagenic street drug called Anthem. Now, with a gruff partner, an eccentric new boss, and a love interest on deck, Kirill has found his chance to live the life he’s always dreamed of.
I feel like the first thing I should say about this one is that I don’t hate it. I probably should. The whole thing is a pile of cop clichés: special task forces, chiefs close to retirement, mismatched partners, and over-the-top shootouts. But somehow, Double Decker has just enough personality and flair to keep me entertained for twenty-two minutes. This is doubly surprising, given the fact that I know nothing about Doug, and I can’t say I like Kirill at all.
The show purports to be a typical buddy cop adventure, wherein idealistic new recruit teams up with a grizzled veteran, but I don’t see it. Kirill is a horrible cop. He abandons his post in search of action and apparently goes to bed each night dreaming about stopping a terrorist attack. Then when he finds exactly what he’s looking for, he’s more than ready to run. I’m fine with a character starting out flawed and learning how to be a hero, but Kirill is irredeemable at this point. He’s lazy, bloodthirsty and cowardly. He’s going to need to find some redeeming qualities fast if the show wants to keep my attention.
Doug fares quite a bit better, as he doesn’t have a personality to speak of. He’s brave. He’s cool. He’s nothing we haven’t seen before. He doesn’t appear to be damaged. He seems to have a dead partner, but that doesn’t stop him from getting along with the rest of the force just fine. He’s not antisocial, and he cracks jokes. The main problem I have is that he doesn’t seem terribly competent. He’s undercut in his first appearance by getting saved by Pink, and then, later on, he gets his foot caught in a pipe. Is he good at his job? The show tells me that he is, but I’m not seeing much evidence to support that. At this point, he seems like kind of a moron.
It should be okay that neither of the lead officers is any good at their jobs. Plenty of cop comedies draw from the idea that their main characters are awful at police work, but this doesn’t seem like a comedic world. Sure the episode has plenty of jokes, but the Anthem users are portrayed as both serious and dangerous. It creates a kind of incongruous effect. I see what the writers are going for with a devil-may-care attitude towards danger, but the drug users and the cops are almost in two different worlds at this stage.
So why do I still like this show? It’s dumb, but it seems to know that just enough to be able to indulge in unexamined versions of cop clichés. It’s slick; it’s smooth; it’s stylish in a pretty fun way. I really found that I couldn’t keep from getting swept up in it. Maybe it’s the upbeat soundtrack, and maybe it’s the kinetic feeling of the shots, and maybe it’s the creative way they censored obscenity, but I found myself really enjoying every minute the show managed to get out of its own way
I don’t have much to say in the way of predictions. Every cop is a walking parody of themselves played half-straight. The effeminate leader, the gruff hacker, the too-tough lady badass. It’s all been done to death. Add in the set up for an obvious anime romance on top of things, and you’ve got two genre formulas working at full speed. I found it very strange that most of the characters were introduced in the post-credits scene, but I feel like that fit this show to a tee. It’s a very flashy affair that cares more about spectacle than character. But if spectacle is all that Double Decker has, then it may hold my attention now, but I can’t see it continuing to do so all season.