Critical Condition: Shots Fired

Shots Fired (SoHo, 9.30 Thursday)

➢ “A police officer stops a motorist, bullets fly — and almost everything that follows from that moment is contradictory, challenging and influenced by competing agendas. That’s the premise of Shots Fired, a worthy and excellent new series that works as both a television drama and an interlocking array of engagements with some of the most thorny issues of our time. Shots Fired resists easy villains and simple answers, even as it knits its many pointed questions into an accessible narrative that is laudably brisk and generally efficient.” — Variety.

➢ “The 10-hour limited series follows the aftermath of two racially charged police shootings in a small North Carolina town. Created by husband-wife team Gina Prince-Bythewood and Reggie Rock Bythewood, Shots Fired demands a delicate balance between serious subject matter and entertaining twists that keep viewers tuning in every week.” — The Washington Post.

➢ “The premise might seem like a stunt, or a way to latch on to a hot news topic while neutralising the racially polarising elements. But Shots Fired, while sometimes obvious in its execution, is more complex than that, unfolding a story that’s ambitious and — unusually for a broadcast-TV drama — very race-conscious.” — New York Times.

➢ “If American Crime is a treatise delivery system that occasionally relies on plot to get from one idea to the next, Shots Fired plays too much as predictable plot delivery system that sometimes steamrolls over its bigger ideas. Still, in its passion and in several performances, there is much to admire here.” — The Hollywood Reporter.

➢ “There’s way too much speechifying, too many times one of the characters seems to be knocking at the storied fourth wall, desperate to speak directly to the viewers about the need to stop the violence and racial intolerance … It does get better after the bloviating pilot, but if it wants to be on the same level as ABC’s American Crime, it needs better writing to match the quality of the performances.” — San Francisco Chronicle.

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