In concept, "Sirens" could be the third leg of Dick Wolf's Chicago first-responders stool, a locally made show about paramedics to go with his series about cops (
Instead, it's a new comedy on USA (premiering Thursday at 9 p.m.) from
This series, thick with local pedigree on the writing and acting sides, takes full advantage of the new freedoms basic cable affords, and they almost undermine it. Instead of delivering characters in a situation that becomes funny because of who they are and how they respond, "Sirens" essentially sets up excuses for graphic sex talk, anatomical words formerly not allowed on TV and near nudity.
There's nothing wrong with any of those things; some of my favorite TV moments and series have featured one or all of the three. But there also needs to be more.
After two episodes, I didn't know much about the three guys at the center — played gamely by
Even an ostensibly emotional visit with Mosley's character's estranged father ends with — spoiler alert — father and son jointly ogling the posterior of the father's partner.
Indeed, the women in the show, led by Jessica McNamee as a cop and Mosley's ex-girlfriend, seem to exist mostly to wear yoga pants and be filmed from behind.
In one lunch scene featuring just women, their conversation is about how to better fit themselves into their bras. Because that's what ladies talk about! Am I right, fellas? High five!
It's shot in Chicago, but because it's so heavy on the banter between its lead characters, it really doesn't feel that way. Most of it takes place inside rooms, and the references to Jay Cutler and Mike Ditka make it sound more like a series made in Los Angeles working to remind viewers that it's set in Chicago.
"Sirens" is based on a British series, also called "Sirens," also not about alluring mythological women on an island near Greece. That might have been interesting. More lines like the one about McNamee's "old-school Irish" family — "we believe that divorce is for (wimps), and the best way to hold a grudge is under the same roof" — would have been interesting.
And more from Bigley, who, as the most wide-eyed of the trio, gets most of the laughs based on character rather than crudity, would have been interesting.
"I don't have a moral compass. I have a moral GPS," Daniels' character says. It's another of the show's better lines, but it's also a reminder of "Sirens'" own moral compass, pointing straight to raunchy.
The era of