The characters in police procedurals may do their best to seem tough, competent, knowledgeable, and thoroughly in control of any situation life hands them, but the actors, writers, and directors who work on these shows are still the same vain, insecure, attention-starved airheads and crybabies as one would expect to find in show business. That’s the truth at the heart of Cop Show, a mockumentary web series created by and starring comedian Colin Quinn of Saturday Night Live fame. The series, now returning for a second season of episodes, each about five to seven minutes in length, is a production of automobile manufacturer Lexus’ L/Studio, dedicated to creating “subscription-style TV without a subscription (or a TV).” A third season is planned for later in 2016.
In Cop Show, Quinn plays a fictionalized version of himself, following in the footsteps of fellow comic Richard Belzer by playing the role a hard-boiled homicide detective. Though the series mimics the grim, gritty, dimly lit look of real procedurals, the episodes tend to focus on the petty problems and insignificant complaints of the people who work on the show. Quinn, in particular, has a lot of terrible ideas for the creative direction of the series and is not hesitant to express these, even when filming is well underway. But he is far from alone in this respect, as even the actress playing a corpse has some creative notes about her “character.” Guest star spotters take note, because Cop Show features appearances from such notables as Chris Rock, Steve Buscemi, Chris Gethard, Steve Guttenberg, and more. The second season opener includes an amusing exchange between Quinn and Rock, who can’t help getting into an argument about comedy even as the latter is supposed to be doing an emotional death scene.