When Alexi Hawley was creating The Rookie, he probably didn’t anticipate it becoming such a massive hit among audiences in the way it has. Something of a rarity in many shows is getting a spin-off.
The Rookie has earned itself a spin-off titled The Rookie: Feds.
On The Rookie, John Nolan is a middle-aged man who leaves his successful job in construction to pursue his dream of being a cop now that his marriage has ended and his son is all grown.
On The Rookie: Feds, Simone Clark is a middle-aged woman who quits her decades-long career as a high school guidance counselor and pursues her dream of joining the FBI now that her twins are all grown.
The Rookie was an instant hit when it premiered, thanks to its well-crafted characters and extensive and innovative narrative.
It thus should not have come as a surprise when ABC decided to get in on the spin-off.
Spin-offs have been known to crash and burn when they have just launched. The Backlist: Redemption is one example that didn’t make it past the first season despite having a very popular mothership.
It’s no guarantee that the spin-off will be successful, especially considering the psychology surrounding media.
Fans love what they are familiar with and comfortable with. A slight disturbance in this fragile state of affairs is often met with pushback.
The Rookie: Feds was one such show. There were efforts to pit the shows against each other because they are set in the same television universe.
There were expectations for the shows to be similar in terms of pacing and narrative. But comparing two shows set in wildly different environments is not fair.
Looking at The Rookie: Feds on the surface, it is easy to dismiss it. Its main character — Simone — is not likable from the get-go. She appears unprofessional and inappropriate, especially with how she dresses.
This assessment is inaccurate when one spends a few episodes with her. It turns out that this is all part of her character. People who watch The Rookie: Feds online know she has helped the team in more ways than one by leaning into her charm.
Her apparent “insubordinate attitude” manifests her dedication to the job. She will go above and beyond — even when everyone screams not to — to help someone in need.
On The Rookie: Feds Season 1 Episode 9, when Garza is in trouble, he calls Simone because he has noticed this quality as a strength, not a weakness. She proves him innocent.
Remember when she got a drug dealer, a weapons dealer, and a kidnapper to change sides when she turned on the sexy Simone charm using “the girls?”
If one can understand or get over the Simone thing, there is no reason not to watch the show.
The show brings the same high-energy tense situations that one can expect from The Rookie. The special unit deals with the insane threats that happen on a regular day in Los Angeles.
If John Nolan is dealing with a serial arsonist who is targeting him, chances are Simone is dealing with an eco-terrorist who is using nuclear weapons.
Whatever your feelings are about Simone, there must be a character you will like or identify with on the show.
If you are a fan of Nyla, Lopez, or Tim, you will like Laura. If you are a fan of Sergeant Grey, you will like Garza. If you are a fan of Nolan, then you will like Simone or Carter.
Like characters from the mothership, those from the spin-off are not boring. Simone has her “league of extraordinary guidance counselor” thing going, while Nolan has his “extraordinary construction worker” thing.
But more than that, like John is compassionate, careful, and a good cop, Simone is also compassionate, dedicated, and good at her job.
The show also keeps the comedic side of The Rookie we are used to. The jokes are written so they don’t overly stick out, watering the dramatic side of the show.
The series premiere of The Rookie: Feds was not so well received, rating less than two stars out of five from viewers right here on TV Fanatic. Part of it can be blamed on the initial hate spin-offs get and that it wasn’t a great premiere.
The show, however, has found a sable audience and is a great beneficiary of delayed playback when the live numbers are less than satisfactory. The chances of it getting canceled became greatly diminished with said developments.
If you were holding back because of your justly founded fears that it’s not worth investing your time in another show just for it to get canceled, rest assured that this might not be happening soon.
Typical of shows set in the same universe, cameos and crossovers happen all the time. The Rookie universe is not different. What makes it even easier is that both shows are set at the same time and in the same city.
Throughout the first season, almost every character from the mothership has appeared in their full capacity to aid the unit. We even had a mini crossover event early into the season.
Are these cameos significant enough to affect both shows?
For now, the spin-off seems to lean into them more. They have also been limited because the show and its characters are still being established.
However, this might change soon. Now that we know everything there is to know about the unit, we will get longer and bigger crossovers.
With both shows being on break before they come back in early 2023, now would be an opportune time to catch up on both because we have a massive crossover event coming!
Both shows have moved to the same night, so these crossovers will feel grander than they ever have.
So, to answer the question, yes. The Rookie fans should TOTALLY watch The Rookie: Feds because it’s entertaining, and you won’t want to miss the crossovers.
If it means anything, the unit has a big budget such that they have a jet that takes them to all corners of the US and the world.
We always love reading and replying to your comments, so leave one below to let us know what you think.
Have you watched both shows? Is our assessment correct? Should those holding back watch both shows?
You can watch The Rookie online and also watch The Rookie: Feds online to catch up on both if you want to make your assessment.
Denis Kimathi is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. He has watched more dramas and comedies than he cares to remember. Catch him on social media obsessing over [excellent] past, current, and upcoming shows or going off about the politics of representation on TV. Follow him on Twitter.