A well-meaning example of Bochco lite, High Incident is a police drama with an ensemble cast and scripts that strain for quirkiness. Set in a fictional California suburb, Incident stars David Keith as Sgt. Jim Marsh, a loudmouthed, thrice-divorced lout whom we’re supposed to believe has a heart of gold. Humph. Keith oversees a squad of cops crawling with eccentricities: One thinks he may be psychic, another likes to discuss his bladder control, a third (killed off in the pilot) is obsessed with power mowers.
There’s a lot of abrupt action, with ordinary citizens exploding into rage; the stylized dialogue is festooned with colorful turns of phrase and discursive anecdotes. (Actor/performance artist Eric Bogosian is listed as cocreator, and much of Incident is flavored with his brand of self-conscious melodrama.) The result is a cross between Hill Street Blues and NYPD Blue without the distinctive characters. If you’re keeping a media scorecard: High Incident is the second production from DreamWorks SKG; it’s a lot better than the soggy sitcom Champs, but it’s also nothing original.