FX is one of those television networks that has completely thrived in the era of original dramatic cable programming, second to only AMC (with Breaking Bad, Mad Men, and The Walking Dead). Starting with its breakout hit, The Shield (about corrupt LAPD detective Vic Mackey), back in 2002, it's continually pushed the boundaries with edgy characters and content, and it thrives at creating awesomely worthwhile shows. It gave us Rescue Me, the hit or miss show about NYC firefighters after 9/11, last year's The Americans with its intriguing Cold War premise, and consistently impresses every season with Justified, about our favorite soft-spoken U.S. Marshall starring Timothy Olyphant. Not too mention cult hits Sons of Anarchy and the disturbing Nip/Tuck. (Also not to mention Louie, the best sort-of comedy show currently on television.) Starting on July 10th, it looks like FX might have another hit: the crime thriller The Bridge.
The Bridge has a premise that will excite any crime drama lover: a woman is found dead directly on the Texas-Mexico border. One half of her is American, and one half is Mexican. But this show isn't just about a serial killer on the loose. The two detectives that team up (one from each nation) will have to withstand corruption, immigration issues, drug trafficking and prostitution. Unlike AMC's The Killing--which I still like--the material in The Bridge seems like it could be mined for a myriad of issues that pertain to border relations and all of the tensions that are heightened due to the stressful situation, instead of just trying to find one crazy killer.
Sonya Cross (portrayed by Diane Kruger--you might recognize her from Troy or Inglorious Basterds) works for the El Paso PD. She's a straight-edge, rule-following officer who also happens to have Asberger's Syndrome. She has a bit of a personality that lacks empathy for other human beings while on her pursuit of the truth. But to proceed, she must team up with Marco Ruiz (portrayed by Demian Bichir--he was critically acclaimed in 2011's A Better Life), a Mexican state policeman who tries to be an upstanding cop even in the face of the cartel.
There's a lot of potential here, especially if you've caught one of the various teasers that have aired on FX in the past few weeks. They're full of grittiness, creepiness and beautiful cinematography of the parched desert-like wasteland. As anyone who watched Breaking Bad knows, this area of the country can become a character in itself. The Bridge was also created by Meredith Stiehm, who was an executive producer and writer of Showtime's brilliant Homeland. Early word is very positive. Let's hope that by the end of the first season, the momentum is still present, and hopefully we can't wait to return to the violent U.S./Mexico border.
Season Premiere July 10th, 10 p.m., FX Network