While another ‘Young Guns’ alumnus is on a national “winning” tour, Christian Slater is aiming to do some winning of his own. Tonight, the My Own Worst Enemy star triumphantly returns to the small screen with the wacky and witty Breaking In, premiering tonight on FOX.
Sure the network television model is heavily reliant upon reality shows and overdone crime dramas to keep it afloat, but every so often an oddball comedy comes along to prove that cable TV isn’t where all the action is nowadays. Breaking In, which at the surface caters to a younger, niche audience, is a refreshing entry into the sitcom genre, serving up a steady stream of laughs and smart television.
Slater is Oz, whose Contra Security firm is hired to expose security weaknesses for companies. Oz is a slick talker and staffs his firm with young and ambitious hackers that have a penchant for breaking in the most secure of locks. His latest recruit is Cameron Price (Bret Harrison), a computer hacker that has been hiding out the past seven years in college. Again his will, Cameron is forced to join Oz’s team, where he is immediately put in charge of the firm’s latest caper: to steal a Lamborghini from a dealership. Initially resistant to the whole idea, Cameron eventually warms to his new digs and proves that he’s quite worthy of a spot on Contra’s team.
If you’re a fan of the formula of shows like Family Guy and Everybody Hates Chris, then Breaking In will tickle your fancy with its quick and often funny cutaway scenes. It combines this approach with a caper-of-the-week strategy, which simultaneously offers up laughs and thrills that are sure to please. The pilot itself moves along at a feverish pace, serving up everything from pop culture references to geek jokes to the roots of a romance story. While Slater is clearly the marketable draw, he takes a back seat to the talented ensemble in the pilot. Reaper fans will enjoy Harrison’s starring role as Price (whose perspective the story is told from.
Rounding out the Contra Security team is resident geek Cash (Alphonso McAuley, Fat Albert), safe-cracking hottie Melanie (Odette Annable, October Road) and resident master of disguise (TV newcomer Trevor Moore). Making a hilarious cameo in the debut is Michael Rosenbaum (Smallville), who will return to the cast as a regular in upcoming episodes. Rosenbaum’s first scene as Dutch, Melanie boyfriend, demonstrates that he’s been hiding comedic chops underneath the nefarious Lex Luthor persona he portrayed for seven years of Smallville.
The question is if Breaking In will be able to secure staying power. Slater hasn’t had the greatest run at television in recent history with My Own Worst Enemy and The Forgotten both failing to garner second seasons. Though it’s on at the late 9:30 time slot, Breaking In should be able to find an initial audience due to its enviable American Idol lead-in. Its seven episodes are scheduled to air without a break, so would-be viewers won’t have to play the guessing game of when it will return. And if subsequent episodes maintain the charm of the pilot while fleshing out the characters, then many will be tuning in for the latest caper of the weak.
Tune in to Breaking In tonight at 9:30 on FOX and let us know what you thought of the Breaking In pilot in the comments below.