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Wild Cards

Wild Cards season 1

Credits

Cast

Network

Reviewer

Kristin Smith

TV Series Review

Max Mitchell knows what she wants. And usually, she gets it … until she doesn’t.

Well, more accurately, she gets it … until she’s arrested for pulling one of her many stunts as a con-woman.

Now, she’s sitting in the clink, charming all the officers except one.

That officer is a sardonic former detective named Cole Ellis who’s sick of patrolling the waters and is desperately trying to regain his former title, his old office and a smidge of respect. But it’s just not in the cards for Ellis—not after he was framed for drug use while on the job.

He’s come to believe that things will never change. But then, a tricky case comes around—one involving the mayor and his donors. And the only person who claims they can solve the mystery is … Max Mitchell.

She tells Ellis just what he wants to hear: if you follow my instincts, you’ll get your job back.

He just has to give her the credit when they get a lead. And they do. And when they crack the case, it seems like their problems are solved. Max is a free woman. Ellis has that respect back. Right?

But the police chief tells them that they’re not in the clear yet. Both Max and Ellis will be on probation until they can clear their names. They can clear their names by solving crimes. And—the biggest kicker–they must work as a team.

They also probably shouldn’t fall in love.

But that’s something that this free-spirited, flippant con-woman and this by-the-book detective might not know how to avoid.

Play Your Hand

Ah, another cop show.

Aren’t they all the same? The CW seems to think that they’re not. Which is why they’ve co-produced, and premiered, the Canadian-American series Wild Cards.

This TV-PG show is, based on the first episode, far more tame than much of what you’ll see on the CW. That’s not hard, nor is it a stamp of approval. The show might be relatively clean, but the plot holes and the impossibility of many situations are difficult to ignore.

But as I was watching this, I was struck by the lightness of the series. There seems to be a desire to present audiences with a show that is funny, charming and doesn’t take itself too seriously in the world of murder mysteries and crime.

But that doesn’t mean it’s a green light for every age or every family.

We hear quite a bit of profanity, either spoken or heard in the show’s background music. We hear conversations about sexual encounters as well, and women sport some sensual outfits every now and then. And then, of course, there’s a bit of violence wrapped in “mystery.” 

Still, the violence hasn’t been all that graphic so far. There’s been no nudity and other problematic themes have yet to present themselves.

When I think of what a cop show could be like in 2024, this one acts as if it wants to be mild. But only time will tell if that remains true.

Episode Reviews

Jan. 17, 2024–S1, E1: “The Infinity Thief”

Disgraced detective Cole Ellis gets a shot at regaining his title by working with witty con-woman, Max Mitchell, to solve a mysterious murder.

While investigating, Max and Ellis find a dead body lying on the ground. Ellis shares that his brother was murdered a year ago in a random mugging. A group of Russian mobsters hold Ellis and Max at gunpoint. A woman admits to killing her lover.

Ellis’ boss wants to close a case so badly that he suggests convicting an innocent man—something, we hear, that he’s done before. Max and another man are knocked unconscious while investigating.

Max is charged with robbery, but the police chief gives her another chance when she learns that she stole only to free a desperate woman from slave labor.

Max and Ellis crack a case and find that a woman was cheating on her husband with her brother-in-law (a video shows the two kissing); a restaurant owner comments that the couple were heard having sex in the bathroom. A song, heard in the background, hints at sadomasochistic acts. Women wear cleavage-baring tops. Max and Ellis kiss as part of their cover in an undercover operation.

Men and women alike consume hard liquor, wine and beer. Ellis was demoted after cocaine was found in his car and he was falsely accused.

The phrase “oh my god” is heard multiple times. Lyrics of a background song include the s-word and the word “b–ch.” Other profanities include a few utterances each of “h—,” “d–n,” “d–mit” and “a–.”

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kristin-smith
Kristin Smith

Kristin Smith joined the Plugged In team in 2017. Formerly a Spanish and English teacher, Kristin loves reading literature and eating authentic Mexican tacos. She and her husband, Eddy, love raising their children Judah and Selah. Kristin also has a deep affection for coffee, music, her dog (Cali) and cat (Aslan).

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