24's main strength is a center to its rather impossible plot lines. F/Xâ€™s Thief, which has finished airing two of the six episodes of its initial season, seems to have two centers. At one, you have a professional robber who leads a team on highly sophisticated jobs. At the other is a crooked cop who is asked to take on this team and redeem himself as a police officer. These seem like two good plots, but can they work in Thief and still make sense?
The main lead of the team is Nick Atwater (Andre Braugher), who leads a life of crime while having to deal with being a parent to his teenage stepdaughter, Tammi (Mae Whitman), whose rebellious nature either gets her on the outs with Nick or places her under the care of the police. His team doesnâ€™t know much about her or his private life, but that's about to change.
First, his wife ends up dying as a result of injuries from a car accident in the first episode. Then, a job goes bad when a crew member fouls up an important part invovling a huge cash heist. The Chinese Goverment now wants the money back, and will get it with the help of a lone gunman and a corrupt cop (Michael Rooker) looking for redemption.
I wonâ€™t spoil what happens for people who havenâ€™t seen the show. If youâ€™ve seen 24 or FXâ€™s other crime series, The Shield, most likely you will know the format of Thief. The familiarity of both those series can be a draw for this show, but it may also be a sign of laziness on the part of the writers.
The problem with a format in which everyone and everything can change in a second is that it is overkilled. While betrayal and death are a main part of these shows, I think Thief would benefit from a higher standard by focusing on the jobs they go on, rather than the internal conflict stuff. It's good to have an old-fashioned show that's got some sort of stability once in a while, but this one doesn't appear it will work out in that regard.