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How Chris Pine Led Me to a Profound Love of TBS's 'Angie Tribeca'

By Dustin Rowles | TV | June 13, 2017 |

By Dustin Rowles | TV | June 13, 2017 |

I’ve been meaning to sample TBS’s Angie Tribeca for a long time now, but something else always comes along, like scurvy, and before I knew it, the third season finale had arrived (oddly, all three seasons have aired within the last 18 months, because TBS doesn’t abide by the traditional rules of television). I tuned into last night’s episode for one reason, and one reason alone: Chris Pine playing a Hannibal Lector parody.

What can I tell you about Angie Tribeca after one episode? For one, now I know where Wynn Duffy ran off to after Justified, and for those of you aching for more Deon Cole (who plays Charlie on Black-ish) in your lives, he’s a series regular here, too. A German Shepard named Jagger is also a series regular: He can mix drinks, and fill in as Sergeant in the absence of human police officers.

The one episode sampling also confirmed everything that I’ve heard about Angie Tribeca: It’s very Naked Gun, which is to say: Some of the jokes are really funny, and some of the jokes are really bad. Rob Riggle, for instance, held an entire police department hostage with a single bed bug, which falls under both categories: It was really funny, and really bad.

Overall, I liked it, but I’m not sure I liked it enough to watch the entire series run. That said, it boasts a lot of great celebrity cameos — Jon Hamm, Mary McCormick, Bill Murray, Natalie Portman, Sarah Chalke, Busy Phillips, Keegan-Michael Key, Adam Scott, Jessica St. Clair, Timothy Omundson, and Robert Pine, who I am weirdly just now realizing is Chris Pine’s father. Holy shit, how did I not know that? NEPOTISM — so it might be worth watching a few select episodes like, for instance, the one featuring both Chris and Robert Pine.

… (20 minutes later) …

Oh, that one had Constance Zimmer, Rachel Dratch, Chris Pine and Robert Pine (who made no sly jokes alluding to his son, sadly). It didn’t change my opinion of the series, however. It still had a 60/40 good-to-bad joke ratio, plus some terrible, and terribly hilarious puns. I also know the twist ending to the serial killer case that’s being investigated in this episode now. Fuck it, I should watch the other Pine episode, too, before I draw any definitive conclusions about the series.

… (20 minutes later) …

Oh my God, this show is so dumb. And yet, I laugh at every stupid joke. Uproariously, at times.

“Do we have anyone inside the Animal Rights Movement?” “We had a mole, but they rescued him and set him free.”

“Hmmm. That is ironic, isn’t it? Like the way that Miss Piggy considers herself desirable.”

The product placement on this show is also amazing. “Welcome to the Mennen Speed Stick Maximum Security Prison (We Keep Sweat Locked Up).”

Anyway, I might be a little bit in love with this show now. The whole third season is about a serial killer who kills rich white male big-game trophy hunters and uses their clothes to dress animals as humans. It’s so stupid, and yet, so incredibly funny. I want more.

… (20 minutes later) …

OK, one more. The second season premiere with Jon Hamm and James Franco. Tribeca’s partner is named Jay Geils, people! I mean, it should be a joke that never works more than once, and yet, it works every single time! James Franco plays a cop named Sgt. Pepper!

“We were high-school sweethearts. Ever since college.”

“You know what always makes me feel better? A big bag of dicks.” (Pulls out a bag of Dick’s BBQ)

Jon Hamm’s cameo is literally three seconds long. The biggest name on this show outside of Bill Murray, and he gets 3 seconds and one line. “See you around.” It’s perfect.

OK, now I love this show. Some time around the third episode, the bad jokes became endearingly funny, and the whole thing just clicked into place. This is why you don’t review a sitcom based one episode folks, and now I’m going to need to take the rest of the day off to watch the other 26 episodes.

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Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here, follow him on Twitter, or listen to his weekly TV podcast, Podjiba.