A Film and TV Review by Tim Riley

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There is not a more prolific producer of television crime dramas than Dick Wolf, and now he is building on the success of “FBI,” which debuted in the fall of 2018, with “FBI: Most Wanted” on the CBS network. During the TV critic’s winter press tour, Wolf noted that the two series are “inextricably linked, in terms of attitude, but the storytelling is very different,” and a crossover is going to happen sometime in the spring. “FBI” Most Wanted” stars Julian McMahon as the seasoned agent Jess LaCroix, who oversees the FBI’s Fugitive Task Force, which relentlessly tracks and captures notorious criminals on the Bureau’s Most Wanted List.

The first episode established the pattern for how the highly skilled team functions as a mobile undercover unit that is always out in the field, pursuing those who are most desperate to elude the long arm of the law. In its debut, the series runs with the hunt for a corrupt doctor pushing pills who ends up committing murder. The chase is then on across many state lines, with a few interludes of getting to know the FBI team members. It appears the series will take time to flesh out the backstories of the squad, with Army veteran Kenny Crosby (Kellan Lutz) standing out in the first episode due in large part to his anger management issues.

In recent times, political controversy has embroiled the FBI’s top leadership, and during the press tour, Dick Wolf noted his respect for the Bureau as an “apolitical organization for 98 percent of the people who are carrying badges.”

On a refreshing note, Wolf expressed no interest in political statements, observing that to do so would only anger “either 49 or 51 percent of the audience before you start doing anything,” adding that the show is “an homage to the FBI boots on the ground.” Wolf takes a sensible position. A crime drama series should stick to entertainment and skip polemical diatribes. Fortunately, “FBI: Most Wanted,” though much of the action is predictable, is designed to entertain.

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