Name for New York City from its founding as a colony of the Netherlands to its conquest by England.

One branch of my family was very big in New Amsterdam; supposedly my great-to-some-degree-grandfather was a prominent advisor to Peter Stuveysant. Had it not been for the meddling English, I would stand to inherit a large portion of the Bronx. Considering what's happened since, you can keep it.

Show on Fox.

After seeing three episodes in less than a week, I'm confident that this is going to be either one of the best new shows of the year, or One of those Good Ones They Never Gave a Chance to Get Started, like Max Headroom, Profit, and well, whatever Uma Thurmon was going to be in in Pulp Fiction.

Premise: 'John Amsterdam' (Nikolaj Coster Waldau) -- pseudonym of Jan van der See (which is, in Dutch, an elegant way of saying John Doe )-- was a soldier stationed at Fort Nieuw Amsterdam in the way-back when Manhattan had grachts and windmills. Having saved a Lanape native girl from death at the hands of the forces of Seven Provinces in 1642, at a site not too far from Times Square, the tribe blessed (or cursed) him to live, with perfect regeneration, until he found his One True Love. (With the way these things work out, I'm wondering if this is not a backhanded way of saying he should keep it in his breeches until he's found them.) Four hundred years later, after six hundred or so girlfriends, some wives, his 17th century drinking habits somewhat curtailed, and a few dozen careers later (artist, cabinetmaker, doctor, soldier, so far) he's a homicide cop with a spanking new trash-talking Latina partner(Zuleikha Robinson), a spacious illegal loft over his mortal confidante Omar's (Stephen McKinley Henderson) jazz club, and a bad attitude. While on the trail of a perp, he has a sudden heart attack when confronted with a young doctor, which convinces him he's met The One(Alexie Gilmore). So far, so good.

I was moderately impressed with the pilot, as I mentioned in the daylog. Nicky's Danish, which gives his 'John' a trace of a Norden accent, which sounds not-quite-modern Dutch. He's powerful sexy, in a kind of metrosexual-domestic way, the kind of fellow you'd love to wake up to making you an omelet on Sunday while he gives you smug little "I know why you don't want to get up" looks. The plot of the mysteries is kind of Law & Order-ish, with him as a younger, more social-work oriented Briscoe, who in between wisecracks, uses his knowlege of the city to solve crimes, in between having a supernatural romance novel unfold as he pursues Dr. Right. (Highlander fans may cry copycat now.)

But now to the killer app. New York City, next year, is going to celebrate 400 years as a European settlement. Also, the American population is growing older, with a great deal of informal culture and 'family ways' dying out as bloodlines go extinct due to plummeting birthrates. At the same time, the new generations are being 'trapped in the now' due to a legacy of unsound pedagogical experiments aimed at teaching literature in terms of 'relevance' and history, at best, as a series of small moral dramas aimed at instilling intellectual progressive and patriotic/conservative Christian dogma. In a TV landscape of pretties and youth, no one wants to sit listening an old geezer talk about Iwo Jima when Human Smoke is flying off the shelves at Amazon. I hear from people in their twenties that they find books from the Nineteen-Thirties hard to read, and Edgar Allen Poe, practically Old English -- which especially saddens me for, as a teen with more brains and imagination than money, I found collecting old books to be cheap, fun, and an incredible liberation. In having stories from America's past related to what is perhaps America's most iconic city, by a slick young-looking fellow, we have opportunity to show thrilling mysteries not only 'ripped from the headlines' but from the history books as well, in the manner of Numb3rs. An interesting plus is the way poetry gets folded into the mix, one author per episode. Great idea!

If it survives. Only seven episodes were filmed so far, as the Writer's Strike cut off production. Only time will tell.

Tiny spoiler alert. And oh, just as you think I'm a little catty about him being just a little bi, you might want to notice how he deals with a certain male nurse in Episode 3? You might want to read up on the subject...

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