Golden Boy: The Complete Series focuses on the career of young Walter Clark (Theo James, Divergent), a cop thrust into the spotlight after a heroic act during a robbery causes him to lose a partner, but garner some fame. When given his pick of positions, he wants Homicide, a spot generally reserved for those who earn their stripes over time. Naturally, there is dissension in the Homicide ranks over his placement, more so from the overly-ambitious Detective Arroyo (Kevin Alejandro, True Blood, Southland) than even Clark's new partner, the more calm and jaded Detective Don Owen (Chi McBride, Pushing Up Daisies, Boston Public). Each episode begins with a flash-forward seven years as Walter Clark has just assumed the position of Police Commissioner, being the youngest cop ever to hold the title. As we see the behavior of the clearly older, wiser and somewhat hobbled Clark, the actions of the episodes provide insight as to how he achieved this stellar position so quickly and what he did, good or bad, to achieve it.
Clark was a street kid in his youth, and he uses this knowledge in solving crimes. He's very clever and not above using some underhanded tactics to get the job done, a fact that doesn't sit too well with his by-the-book partner. But Clark isn't about blind ambition - no, that's Det. Arroyo's game. Clark is also willing to fudge things to help his partner get his just due, even if Owen doesn't want the help. Meanwhile, Arroyo just wants Clark out of his way, but they seem to step on each other's toes a lot and find ways to get dirt on each other to help keep things in check. This causes Arroyo's long suffering partner, Det. Deb McKenzie (Bonnie Somerville), to begin to see Arroyo in a not so flattering light.
Clark also has a younger sister, Agnes (Stella Maeve), that he's been raising since his dad (Michael Madsen) went to prison and his mom (Polly Draper) checked out on them many years ago. When both parents re-enter the siblings' lives, they bring both good and bad with them.
As Clark shines as a detective, he catches the eye of a lovely young reporter, Margot Dixon (Trieste Kelly Dunn) and the two become involved. Then Clark discovers she is the ex-wife of the Deputy Mayor, which could throw a monkey wrench into their relationship. As a cop, you never want to raise the ire of City Hall.
As the season and series draw to a close, we know that a lot has happened between the time young Clark started in Homicide and the time he is promoted to Police Commissioner. There are allusions to a lot of things, including some cast members being dead, but we'll never know exactly what happened because the show was cut down in its prime and didn't have time to wrap things up. In fact, you will be left on a cliffhanger that leaves Clark and possibly someone else very dear to him in mortal jeopardy. You know Clark makes it because of the flash-forwards, but what exactly happens, we'll never know. Because of this, it's really hard to recommend Golden Boy: The Complete Series to someone. I thoroughly enjoyed the show, especially Chi McBride, who is always wonderful in every role. Theo James seemed a little forced at times and I had a hard time buying him as the older version, simply because he seemed to be acting much older than someone in their early 30's, which is what age he'd be. Still, overall he did a good job as Clark. The supporting cast is great as well and it is easy to see that the showrunners were building up back story for Det. McKenzie, Det. Arroyo, and even Det. Joe Diaco (Holt McCallany), who would mostly pop up to scalp tickets, but he was a likeable character. I'm glad I got the opportunity to see Golden Boy: The Complete Series because I love Chi McBride and the show really had some room to grow and become a great cop drama, it was just cut down too early. If you know going in that you won't get resolution and that is okay with you, check out Golden Boy: The Complete Series. This is another offering from Warner Archive's Made on Demand program, so if you want it, you'll need to order it. Check out the link below to do so.