Directors: Arthur W. Forney, Bill Duke, Frederick King Keller, Gus Trikonis, Bill Corcoran, Jace Alexander, Anthony Hickox, Reynaldo Villalobos, Oz Scott, Helaine Head, Michael Lange, Mick Garris, Michael Vejar, James A. Contner, Michael Scott, William Malone, Don Kurt
Starring: Malik Yoba, Michael DeLorenzo, Patti D’Arbanville, Lauren Velez, George Gore II
JC Williams and Eddie Torres are two hard-working and dedicated detectives working for the Fourth Precinct in New York. They mostly work in the urban community and their cases are usually filled with murder and gang activities. While struggling to serve the community and also keep themselves alive, they also have to juggle their own private lives in order to keep their head where it needs to be.
New York Undercover is another crime show under the Dick Wolf umbrella, a guy who’s been involved in several hit shows such as all the Law & Order and Miami Vice. With this one he tried to do pretty much the same thing as other cop shows of the time, just in an urban setting.
To add to the urban feel of the series, each show has either an R&B or rapper making a guest performance at the local bar that JC and Eddie regularly visit after a hard days work. This includes people who are now considered legends like Notorious B.I.G. The songs used in the show should also be fun for people who grew up listening to hiphop in the 90’s.
Most of the crime cases are down to earth and realistic, not like most of the newer over-the-top crime shows of today. Usually the stories revolve around some type of topic that the detectives can relate to in their own lives. In some of them this is done a bit too obvious and becomes cheesy, but other times it does work well enough for what it is.
The two detectives, JC and Eddie are played by Malik Yoba and Michael DeLorenzo. They have good chemistry together and make up for a pretty cool team. While their relationship problems, and in JC’s case also fatherhood issues, might not be very interesting it does bring some more human elements into their characters. The creators and actors also did a good job in making them both feel very realistic and good hearted human beings instead of just being another pair of bad ass cops, which wouldn’t translate that well to a weekly TV series.
While the stories of the episodes are above others in quality, especially the ones with Ice-T as a guest star as the gangster with the ridiculous name Catman, all have a certain quality to it that makes the show never become boring and keeps it entertaining week after week. On the other hand it does lack the “wow” factor and hasn’t got enough highlights to make some of the episodes become very memorable either.
From the aspect of a horror fan, it’s interesting to see a few of the directors that ended up doing an episode each on the first season. Mick Garris should be known for anyone who is interested in the world of Stephen King adaptations, William Malone has also mostly worked within the horror genre and there’s also Anthony Hickox who did stuff like Waxwork and Hellraiser 3.
The first season of New York Undercover is enjoyable, but nothing spectacular or mind blowing. It is a good series that require little attention and I think it still does hold up well today. It is the type of TV show that you can put on before falling asleep and I don’t mean that in a bad way. It might be of special interest to those who grew up watching it and I wouldn’t really recommend it to a modern audience with no nostalgic feelings towards the show, but if you have nothing else to watch then give it a go.