If you’re going to be a cop show at this moment in time, when TV is crowded with badges, perps, bulletproof vests, and sugar donuts, you’ve got to stand out. That doesn’t mean you have to feature a charming detective with special powers, or the gorgeous coastlines of Hawaii, or Sherlock Freaking Holmes. Only the networks think that. It just means that, like on “Southland,” you need to have scripts that aren’t riddled with clichéd precinct talk and characters — both the officers and the criminals-of-the-week — who are flawed, conflicted human beings.
“Golden Boy,” which premieres Tuesday night at 10 on Channel 4, is halfway there. The new CBS procedural has a few outstanding elements that work right away. Set in New York, the show revolves around the career of a 27-year-old cop named William Clark who takes down two gunmen, saves his partner, and becomes the media’s “Hero Cop.” His reward is that he can write his own ticket, so he chooses the homicide department, even though he has no experience. He has a big head, though, having bought into too much of his own press. He is partnered with frumpy veteran Detective Owen (Chi McBride), despite his wish to work with the splashier Detective Arroyo (Kevin Alejandro).