Apparently, the meaning is the same. They may even be synonymous with each other. The similarity of the two terms could be misleading because in police or military fields, more or less the same, it is defined recruit o rookie a rookie, a rookie. But The Recruit e The Rookiewho both speak of beginners, they are two very different, very distinct thingsfrom different points of view, and it could be a mistake to compare them with each other.
Between the first episode of The Rookie and the first of The Recruit it’s been a little over four years. It was October 2018 when on ABC made its debut the series played by Nathan Fillionformer protagonist of Castlewhose ending, if you want, we reveal here, but also known for another very interesting series, Fireflyand for Serenity e Slither, cinematographic films that are not obvious nor even less trivial. The series starring Noah Centineoon the other hand, only came out last December on Netflix obtaining good results among the public and critics.
Four years. An apparently short period of time which, however, in the world of television series, represents almost a geological era. Four years during which The Rookie it aired, surprised and confirmed itself so much as to reach the fifth season, released last September in the United States whose end is scheduled for January 31st.
The Recruiton the other hand, is in its infancy even if it was confirmed by a few days ago Netflix per the production of a second season which will most likely be released in 2024. And for this they thank his fans who had been left hanging by a significant twist.
One could say, by virtue of this period of time that separates them, that The Rookie is the older sister of The Recruit? No, that would be a mistake. The two series are just two different worlds.
Meanwhile for the number of seasonsas we just said. The Recruit still has a long way to go. And being the daughter of technology on demand we know that its continuation is hanging by a thread. A slender filament whose ends are held in the hand by the executives of the American giant, whose choices lately they have made many subscribers despair (see the very recent cancellation of 1899) and on the other notorious algorithm. And it is not clear, at the moment, who is more capricious. Let one thing be clear, though: it’s not that the television networks are exempt from unexplained cancellations. Let’s say, rather, that they do it with a different style, here.
However, going back to our two series, beyond the number of seasons, what separates them is also the number of episodes. It could be an obvious reasoning but it is not. The first season of The Rookie account twenty episodes while that of The Recruit just eight. A significant difference for the same duration, both between 40 and 50 minutes. A difference that leads us to a subsequent consideration: who transmits them.
Oh yes, because nowadays there is a big difference. A series like The Rookie it is meant for televisiontherefore it must attract advertising and thinks, in terms of broadcasting, in the long term taking into account the fact that one, maximum two, episodes are broadcast a week. The Recruiton the other hand, is designed to be released all at once and for this reason it certainly cannot foresee a quantity greater than eight, maximum twelve episodes per season.
So, between ABC e Netflix it is again impossible to compare. But beyond the number of episodes per season, it is the staging that makes the difference. Why The Rookiedespite being from 2018, it has a pleasant hint of the late nineties, early 2000sto. There’s a little taste retro typical of that period and can be seen above all with certain shots that wink at similar, much older series. A deliberate choice, clearly, and not a simple tribute to those who came before. After all, the protagonist John Nolanis the right age to be raised on bread and Adam 12 if not even TJ Hooker.
At the same time it is incredibly modern especially in the way in which deals with current and thorny issues such as racism, police violence, and inclusion, i.e. without paternalism nor cheap rhetoric.
It is serious without being overly heavy and amusing as and when needed with humor at all times on the piece which he leaves to the viewer the impression that he has not wasted his time.
The Recruit, on the contrary, is much less lighthearted and never deals with topics related to common life. At the same time, however, it distances itself well from the Jack Ryan-esque spy seriesfor example, proposing a normal protagonist in a certain sense, who suffers from the tiredness and the beatings he receives, full of doubts and uncertainties about himself and the world around him, who needs to take time to think because he doesn’t have the answers always ready on the tip of the tongue, who gets duped more by friends than by enemies but who learns quickly from his own mistakes.
And this brings us to another point of departure: The protagonist. Meanwhile The Rookie is a more choral series also thanks to the setting while The Recruit it’s more of the classic da series lone wolf. After all one is set in a police department while the other fishes in the murky world of espionage. Owen Hendricksprotagonist of The Recruit, is a thousand miles away from John Nolan. Although they have both studied law, the first is a lawyer, the second a former builder who decided, after forty years, to enlist in the police (all based on a true story). So one is young and the other less, detail that can be seen in the way they approach problems that are placed in front of them. The first, in fact, is more impulsive and has the typical arrogance of twenty-somethings, eager to rock the world, convinced that they always know a little more than others. The second, on the other hand, has a son and a divorce behind him and proves to have a not insignificant spirit of adaptation, probably due to previous experience.
Always remembering that The Recruit has one-tenth the stakes of The Rookie and we certainly can’t imagine where the writers want to go, we can say that the only thing they have in common is the fact that the protagonist is a rookie in his field and that he is seen by everyone as incompetent, useless and a burden. Impossible, therefore, to try to compare them with each other. There is really nothing that can put them on the same plate.
Ah no, wait a minute, we were forgetting! In reality there is detail that unites them. A trifle. It’s about Alexi Hawley who is the creator, screenwriter and executive producer of both. Not a small detail. We could have had some suspicions by discovering that the director of the CIA of The Recruit is played by Nathan Fillion. But then how is it possible that we have escaped? Because actually it is practically impossible to find the same creative hand. And this is certainly a great value for it showrunner American who thus demonstrates his inventiveness, such as to be able to create two seemingly similar but totally different series.
It’s no small thing, really. How many times do you understand, after a couple of episodes, that there is a hand of the same creator behind it? This is not the case with these two really interesting series, each in its own way. Two series that are worth recovering and enjoying with due attention precisely by looking for the differences, many, compared to the similarities, few. Because knowing that the same mind is behind it it will be a hoot to understand the creative mechanisms that led Alexi Hawley to have fun to keep us entertained.