Arts & Entertainment

“Tacoma FD”: is it worth watching?

Tacoma is finally getting the media recognition it deserves! After years of being forgotten in the shadow of Seattle, we now have our very own TV show called “Tacoma FD.” Unfortunately, it’s not even filmed here — it’s just loosely based on the 253.

The “Tacoma FD” pilot premiered on March 28 on truTV, created by and starring Kevin Hefferman and Steve Lemme — founding members of the Broken Lizard troupe, who are also well-known for the cult classic comedy “Super Troopers.”

This new comedy series revolves around the Tacoma fire department, where the premise is mostly just firefighters goofing around rather than doing their jobs. However, we can’t really blame them — for a city that’s always raining, it’s hard for these guys to do their job when there really isn’t anything that requires the fire department.

Because of their lack of work, the firefighters are pretty much left to entertain themselves with creative competitions among each other. When these guys actually are called upon for help — such as saving a kid from a well — they still do the bare minimum work required. While “Tacoma FD” delivers a somewhat raunchy tone — with jokes that involve drugs, rebellious kids, and the occasional “b-word” — it’s nothing too bad that your kids haven’t already heard from you, your family or friends.

Because the show’s the target audience is seemingly for middle-aged adults, there’s not much that will catch the attention of Millennials and Generation Z’s. Even the jokes and pranks that these guys do are geared for the older generations — nothing extreme or funny in the sense of 2019 humor.  

“Tacoma FD” is an average sitcom that’s full of comedic beats and bass-drops to let you know when you should be laughing. The show is overlit and the mise-en-scene doesn’t fit the Tacoma aesthetic. Slapping a framed photo of the glass museum and the Tacoma bridge on the fire department’s wall isn’t quite the best way to properly present Tacoma.

The one aspect of the series that these guys got right is the unpredictable weather that our state is famously known for. It can rain the whole morning and next thing you know, bright and sunny by lunchtime. But even then the emphasis on the weather is already played out too much in the show.

If “Tacoma FD” wants to capture a more diverse audience while paying proper homage to the city of Tacoma, then it’s going to require hiring a writer who actually knows Tacoma. Someone who will pitch all the nitty-gritty things our city is infamously known for, such as the “Tacoma Aroma,” the gentrification of Hilltop, the constant car burglaries and even the long overdue I-5 project.

Overall, “Tacoma FD” lacks uniqueness — it’s packed with lots of generic riffs, but still watchable due to the likable cast. This series could definitely use some more spark that captures the reality of our city, but it’s also just the pilot. So, “Tacoma FD,” let’s see what else you have in store for season one. Because the city of Tacoma is waiting.