Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Review: The Lineup

Like Dragnet, Tales of the Texas Rangers and 21st Precinct, The Lineup was a radio show about behind-the-scenes police work.

But unlike the other shows, there are no heroics, no "star" to be had.  It's fascinating yet almost boring at the same time.

Bill Johnstone (of post-Orson Welles The Shadow fame) takes the lead.  But (pardon the pun) you couldn't pick his voice out of a lineup.  He blends in so well (perfectly?) with everyone else.

Certainly there are the voices of Raymond Burr and the ever-present Howard McNear but they are only 2 voices you are likely to recognize.  As far as my ear goes, I never know when Johnstone was around and when he isn't when I listen to the show.

McNear plays small parts, usually some "tough" (used loosely) in the lineup on every show.

The lineup is how the show starts and an investigation proceeds from there.

As I stated earlier, this is both exciting and boring at the same time.  If you like the line of police shows I stated at the beginning of this review, you are likely to enjoy this show as well.  But you can never connect with the characters as there is a coldness - perhaps even a blandness - in their approach.  And it's a different coldness than say, Dragnet, because on Dragnet, you know who the cops are.  In The Lineup, you know they are cops and - well, you know they are cops - period.

Still, an interesting show but not as good as the other cops show listed here in the review.  2 and a half stars.

©Jimbo 2010/2011


  1. I agree with you totally. I think the show would come off better with a more distinctive voice as the lead. Johnstone tends to blend right in with the rest. That takes away from the show. That is one thing that Jack Webb adds to his shows. Your review reflects my opinion of the show as well.

  2. Thanks for the comment, BB. :D


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