The invention of the supernatural cop show is truly one of mankind’s greatest achievements. Well, TV genre-related achievements, at least. It has the police procedural stuff—which everyone who loves a good mystery can enjoy—combined with the thrill of magical nonsense that never really needs to be properly explained. It’s a classic TV genre twist that pops up again and again, from The X-Files to Fringe to True Detective (if we ignore the fact that nothing supernatural actually happened in that show). If Shakespeare were brought back to life through some kind of mysterious nonsense that the police needed to investigate, it’s a safe bet that even he would be writing a supernatural cop drama.
Now, as reported by Deadline, NBC is following this time-honored tradition with Wasteland, a show about a U.S. Marshal tasked with hunting down a bunch of criminals with supernatural powers. Not only that, but he must do so while “unlocking the mystery of his past.” Deadline says Wasteland was originally pitched to TNT as a regular drama series a few years ago, but it’s coming to NBC as a miniseries. Those might sound like red flags, but let’s all just remember that this show’s premise can be found in the dictionary under “TV Gold.” Seriously, just think of how aggressively cool the protagonist’s name must be if he’s in a show like that, and then picture him saying it in an overly dramatic voiceover at the beginning of each episode. It would go a little something like this:
“I’m U.S. Marshal So-And-So. A bunch of super-powered criminals escaped from the most secure prison on the planet, and it’s my job to hunt them down and bring them to justice. Welcome to the Wasteland.”