The talented actor is the star of Training Day, a show that makes its series debut tonight at 10 p.m. on CTV. Written by Will Beall and directed by Danny Cannon, the show is a present-day reimagining of Antoine Fuqua’s critically acclaimed 2001 feature film that starred Denzel Washington and Ethan Hawke. Set 15 years after the film left off, the primetime series focuses on the partnership between a bright and idealistic police officer Kyle Craig (played by Cornwell) and a morally ambiguous detective Frank Rourke (Bill Paxton).
Training Day, is the show’s title but it also serves as a metaphor for Cornwell. The Chicago actor had a guest spot on Empire, but this is his first foray in the lead position on a primetime series. It’s a role that the actor takes full advantage of as his portrayal of Kyle Craig is a breath of fresh air on the series.
While the pilot’s opening sequence is a little over-the-top, at the midway point of the premiere, the series seems to find its footing. It is able to successfully combine gritty subject matter with dark humour and with an understated intensity. While Kyle Craig is initially tasked to expose his partner’s scruples, the pair end up forging a strong bond and it is this relationship that is the heart of the program.
Most television shows today incorporate one main core and serialized plotline and regularly include episodic stories. This is in an effort to satiate regular fans while also offering new viewers the chance to catch up. Training Day follows the formula as the show is primarily about Kyle Craig deciphering the mystery of his father’s death while also solving crimes in Los Angeles under his partner’s tutelage.
At CTV’s 2016 upfront presentation, I had the opportunity to catch up with Justin Cornwell from the show. We chatted about a variety of subjects including why networks seem to be relying on movies as their muse and if there is a pressure on the TV series to live up to its big-screen predecessor. Justin opened up about his on-screen chemistry with Bill Paxton and we also discussed what to expect from the series. I also asked the actor why police procedurals seem to be such a staple in primetime programming. Finally, I end the interview with a surprise question.
Murtz Jaffer is the world's foremost reality television expert and was the host of Reality Obsessed which aired on the TVTropolis and Global Reality Channels in Canada. He has professional writing experience at the Toronto Sun, National Post, TV Guide Canada, TOROMagazine.com and was a former producer at Entertainment Tonight Canada. He was also the editor at Weekendtrips.com.