Tuesday , November 28 2023
An American Doofus in London

Keen Eddie

Watching the title hero of Keen Eddie, as he chased a portly suspect (Alexi Sayle, best known in the U.S. for his roles on The Young Ones) through a London market to the strains of Madness’ “One Step Beyond,” I found myself thinking so this is how we treat our allies these days.
Consider: twenty-five years ago, when we flew an American fish-out-of-water to Swingin’ England, it was John Wayne in Brannigan. Now it’s this goofball: a twenty-something N.Y. cop (Mark Valley) who in the first five minutes of the pilot nearly burns down his own apartment. (He has a map of the city, see, where he charts his busts with unused matchbooks.) Keen Eddie Arlette owns a pit bull named Pete with a predilection for humping cats and attacking his own master, plus that brand of willful Yank ignorance we’re supposed to find endearing but could really get old after two episodes. This guy is so America-centric that he doesn’t know if British currency comes in grams or pounds – something any fifth grade kid with a passing knowledge of Sherlock Holmes could tell you in an instant. Watching our hero fumble his way ’round London Town, you can only come to this conclusion: man, our public education system really does suck!
Eddie’s been sent to Eng-a-land with Pete to catch the figures in a drug-smuggling ring that’s been distributing oxycodene in souvenir statues of Big Ben. (So what you have, then, is a gang disseminating stuff to other Britishers via tacky souvenirs of the town where they reside.) Arlette is the only one to’ve seen two key players – a sultry brunette who has his dick wrapped around her manicured finger, plus the aforementioned Sayle, who claims to be a pharmaceutical whiz. With the aid of Scotland Yard (and a randy Detective Inspector named, I kid you now, Monty Pippin), he finds the latter. But by the time he’s uncovered the vixenish bird’s digs, she’s already flown, presumably so she can torment our hero in later episodes.
There’s a bantering boy/girl subplot, too, of course. Eddie’s forced to share a flat with a leggy blond student named Fiona (Sienna Miller), who’s dismayed to learn her mother has sublet the place over the summer. Fiona wants the flat all to herself, so she can hump her weedy boyfriend, but that’s clearly not gonna happen. So in addition to cross-cultural conflict, the Keen One also has his share of sexual conflict. I see a heated-argument-broken-by-a-kiss in this duo’s future.
By summer fill-in standards, Keen Eddie isn’t bad. But it definitely is weak tea compared to last year’s summer break-out hit, Monk. (Sorry, Eddie, but Adrian outdoes you on both the sleuthing and the pratfalls!) I chuckled at a few moments: a scene in a dance club where the music is so loud that our copper’s interrogation has to be subtitled was a highlight (it always bothered me on Buffy when characters were able to easily converse in the Bronze while some alt band was flingin’ feedback across the room), and I also was amused when they filmed the ep’s climactic bust to the sound of a concurrent soccer game, then showed the big arrest as an Instant Replay. Small jokes, sure, but it beats watching American Idol for Pedophiles.
Our hero stays on at Scotland Yard, of course: he may be a doofus, but he GETS RESULTS even with his foot stuck in a milk carton when pursued by bad guys. One of the last things we see him doing is putting up a new map of London and pinning his first unused matchbook to it. If I were Fiona, I’d double-check the renter’s insurance.

About Bill Sherman

Bill Sherman is a Books editor for Blogcritics. With his lovely wife Rebecca Fox, he has co-authored a light-hearted fat acceptance romance entitled Measure By Measure.

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