‘Mayor of Kingstown’ stars Jeremy Renner in a play that misses the target

Rainer initially introduces the premise in voiceover: a gloomy Michigan town with several privately run prisons that depend on him as their major industry, with his character, Mike McCluskey, and his family essentially calling the shots. are.

“It’s up to me to cage the rats,” he explains.

In theory, the prison’s backdrop is the stuff of the harsh TV drama of “Oz” and “The Mayor of Kingstown,” who certainly want to be considered in company, given a heavy dollop of violence, nudity, and profanity. stew

However, the series feels dramatically passive, as if it’s using those elements not to advance the story but as the main reason for it being there. Nor do many of the supporting players establish themselves in the first three episodes, other than perhaps Diane Wiest as Mike’s tough-as-nails mother who works with everyone in town in or around the prison. In the case, the woman teaches the prisoners. ,

An assortment of crises ensues, and a genuine surprise occurs in the premiere, but the real-world issues that inform the series—including those relating to race, policing, and the imprisoned-industrial complex—are not addressed by complexity or nuance. Which will keep them interesting constantly.

That leaves Reiner to do most of the lifting, and he’s fine so far as it goes about a world-weary tough guy who’s conflicted about his new role in this dysfunctional equation. But “The Mayor of Kingstown” mostly plays out like an outline of a pretty traditional TV drama from the past, decked out with R-rated content standards.

Paramount+ seeks to leverage a range of assets from its corporate parent “Star Trek” Spinoff And picking up the show from CBS. Sheridan co-produced the show with Hugh Dillon, who enjoyed a smash hit with “Yellowstone”. prequel to that series, “1883,” due to hit the streaming service next month.

Using the classic streaming “you might like” algorithm, the major players here may be enough to prompt viewers to take a chance on the series. Yet unless there is a significant improvement in the story, it’s hard to imagine a scenario in which the “mayor of Kingstown” is re-elected.

“Mayor of Kingstown” premieres on Paramount+ on November 14.