Morris Chestnut as Beaumont Rosewood, Jr. and Jaina Lee Ortiz as Detective Villa. ©2015 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Jeff Daly/FOX.
Rosewood does employ one slight twist to set the series apart from other shows of the same ilk. Rosewood has a preoccupation with death because he has multiple mysterious illnesses that have plagued him since birth, resulting in a scar on Chestnut’s perfect abs, as well as the need for regular injections. This is supposed to provide some character development, to show why Rosewood is so obsessed with death — others’ and his own — and why his personality is the way it is, but instead it comes off as a cheap dramatic stunt, calculated to bring life (no pun intended) to an otherwise drab series. But it doesn’t exactly work; we already know that Rosewood is not going to die, so there aren’t any inherent dramatic stakes in this revelation, other than a future episode wherein he’s randomly hospitalized or collapses on the job.
Despite the fact that Fox is also home to Bones, Rosewood feels out of place on the network. Fox has been committed to strong, funny sitcoms (New Girl, Brooklyn Nine-Nine) and engaging, addictive dramas (Empire, Sleepy Hollow) — and its future is stocked with sequels to previously popular series (The X-Files, Prison Break). Rosewood feels too bland and too forgettable to exist on a network that’s becoming exciting again.
None of this really matters, though, because Rosewood is a light dramatic procedural that is designed to last for years. It’s a “laundry-folding” series that requires little attention from viewers; it’s a series to keep on in the background but never fully commit to because it’s not worth any deeper engagement. It could last one season or more than five; there will be no in between.
Rosewood premieres Wednesday, September 23 at 8 PM on Fox.