The Movie Network and Movie Central are premiering a new cop show today, but don't expect another case-of-the-week premise. "These cops weren't going to investigate anything because they think they know all they need to know, so it's just a matter of what they're going to do about it," said The Line co-creator George F. Walker in a recent interview. "They don't follow procedures. They are past caring about their jobs."
"They did it that way when they were younger," added his writing partner, Dani Romain, about Max and Donny (Ron White and Daniel Kash), the cops who cross the line. "They followed the rules and it didn't work, so they decided to make their own rules."
Walker and Romain have been working together for 12 years, since she was an assistant director for the successful playwright's Suburban Motel cycle at Factory Theatre in Toronto. Discovering a similar point of view, they began writing together and eventually co-created This Is Wonderland, which aired for three seasons on CBC.
For that series, which took place in the provincial court system, Walker and Romain sat in on trials for research. "We would have gone farther with This is Wonderland if it had been on cable," explained Walker. "We could have gone farther and still been truthful to that circus."
The Wonderland research influenced their take on The Line's Max and Donny. "They really want to make the world better but they've lost the plot a little," Romain said, before adding she isn't always sure their actions are wrong. "Sitting in those courts for so long, there's a lot of frustration. The system doesn't work. Throwing people in jail doesn't work. So why not take a different tactic?"
"This is how they make their living, but we were more interested in their personal relationships and who they were as people," Walker offered. "I think our point of view is that there's not an agenda - we aren't judging these characters."