At the urging of Gustatus Superus over on the Trireme of Love, Erasmus tuned into The Inside (dreadful title, incidentally, which seems to be left over from an earlier incarnation when the show was centered around an undercover cop) on Fox this evening. Were it not for his insistence, Erasmus would have given it a pass because it looked like a lame attempt to create Clarice Starling: The Series. While for the time being, Erasmus will withdraw "lame," he isn't entirely convinced it's not CS:TS, even in the writers' minds. You cannot throw off Erasmus with po-mo references to the very work you're drawing inspiration from!
Erasmus thought it had some fairly clever plotting, though the visuals were standard issue Underlit Cop Show (à la The X-Files and C.S.I.) and the colloquy between Webster & Locke at the crime scene (where of course, they never turn on a light) was straight out of the überlame Crossing Jordan (Claire Kincaid, whither hast thou gone?). From some of the creators' comments, as well as the recurring dialogue at the end of the show, the larger story arc will be Virgil Webster (good name, incidentally: guide to the underworld and scheming manipulator) vs. (St.) Paul Ryan for the soul of Miss Locke, which has some promise, especially given the Dark Past she's been given. That said, Erasmus is usually quite distrustful of series which offer such long-arc teases. Episodic television is almost always too inconsistent from week to week, much less season to season, as different writers take over. The British do this better than the Americans, given their single-author shows. (That said, the more-personalized British system is also much more amateurish [in the literal, rather than derogatory sense] and consequently produces far less good television in a given year.)
So, will The Inside go the way of The X-Files, Twin Peaks, or Lost in simply adding plot twists willy-nilly until their arcs arc into incoherence? Erasmus will likely hang with the show for at least the "summer season" to find out. Why? The acting was good, the plot pretty clever, and the cast likeable. (Though Erasmus remembers Peter Coyote before he became the second coming of Cigarette Smoking Man [cf. The 4400], back when he was the lounge lizard in Eurotrash soft porn opposite the likes of Greta Scacchi.)
Finally, Erasmus will be dead certain to watch at least one episode which appears to be an homage to (or ripoff of, whichever) A Philosophical Investigation by Philip Kerr, more about whom anon. Erasmus has a soft spot for writers who read the same stuff he does.
The Inside: Nondum placet, autem maneo.
Note to Fox: The official website would be much more atmospheric without the liposuction banner ads.