Gillian Flynn
June 03, 2004 AT 04:00 AM EDT

City Confidential

TV Show
Current Status
In Season
Keith David

We gave it a B

From the plotting pimp in ”Requiem for a Dream” to the business-giving dad in ”There’s Something About Mary,” Keith David can careen from chilling to chatty. That makes him the perfect narrator for City Confidential, a true-crime travelogue that dissects murders and misdeeds from the point of view of an entire community. Smoothly replacing the late Paul Winfield, David has an edge-of-a smile voice — which helps him pull off ”CC”’s charmingly overblown noir-ese (e.g., describing Panama City’s beaches: ”Snowy white sand as pretty as an airbrushed license plate…”).

Judging from the June 19 episode, which centers on a cop-shooting Mormon fundamentalist squatter in Milford, Utah, named — and please pause to enjoy the punctuation here — Tony-Alexander: Hamilton., the six-year-old ”CC” still has a knack for nabbing illuminating interviewees. Miners, retirees, even the injured policeman and :Hamilton., provide ”Rashomon” takes about a trespassing arrest (:Hamilton. refused to vacate land he lost due to unpaid taxes).

But for the sharpest picture of tiny, dying Milford, you have to listen to the town librarian declare that she’s accepted the stench of the new hog farm (”it’s the smell of money to us”), and to :Hamilton.’s elderly friend, who swears that had the lawman come onto his property, he’d have ”shot that deputy right goddamn quick — and I’d have hit him right between the eyes.”

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