Modern procedurals and other cop dramas have pretty much trained the viewing audience to sympathize with the detectives and uniformed officers and loathe, if not somewhat fear, Internal Affairs. After all, police work is a brotherhood– or an extended family, if you will– and I.A. is like the tattle tale little sister who gets you grounded right before the big school dance. Police officers are supposed to look out for each other, but Internal Affairs looks into each other. And now Lifetime wants us to sympathize with one of them: Against the Wall’s Abby Kowalski (Rachael Carpani).
Abby comes from a family of cops, lead by her dad (Treat Williams) and finally makes the rank of detective but does so by joining the I.A. department and rightfully so is worried about breaking the news to her biological brothers as much as she is her surrogate ones in the squad. The idea stemmed from Annie Brunner‘s real life relationship with her mother. She was thinking about story ideas, constantly told she needed a “hook,” and she made them all cops because of it. So to her, the show really is about the family first, the drama of the job second.
Of course, the hook for this show is the drama of the job, though. It is what you will first notice and what sets this one apart from oh, so many familial dramas across broadcast and cable networks these days. After all, I.A. is so taboo this is really the first show to tackle it, and therefore there is a lot of pressure for it to make a big, bold statement right out the gate. Setting the series in Chicago only intensifies that, as Brunner pointed out that here in Los Angeles, there are a lot of politics about the force, whereas in Chicago, there is still an intense stigma of corruption.
“Chicago cops don’t care. They live by a code…it amazes me that they still have the reputation of being corrupt. There are some amazing people there,” Brunner said.
Though the pilot episode hints at an I.A. investigation into one of her brothers, the arc is wrapped up pretty quickly within the first three episodes of the series. These cops are flawed, sure, but generally good-hearted people. The series is on Lifetime, after all, which keep it light, tonally, and often focuses more on relationships than “danger.” Needless to say, Abby’s love life will become a big deal within the first season.
“She keeps me on my toes!” Carpani smiled, noting that Abby likes the one-night stands. “But I think her father is the true love of her life.”
While Abby has a great model of what a good man is in her father, she has disappointed him by taking this new job and will have to spend some time repairing their relationship instead of looking to mimic it with a third party.
Against the Wall premieres on Lifetime on Sunday, July 31st at 10pm.
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