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Heavy-handed Hilary Swank back on TV in ‘Alaska Each day’: review


Two-time Oscar winner Hilary Swank returns to series television in “Alaska Each day,” a too- earnest, tropey drama that’s well-intentioned but heavy-handed in checking all of the requisite contextual boxes.

Swank, 48, plays Eileen Fitzgerald, an abrasive, hard-charging investigative reporter for the (fictional) Latest York City newspaper The Vanguard. She’s digging right into a five-star general who’s into account because the country’s next Secretary of Defense. Elizabeth is convinced he’s involved in illegal international arms deals and her one trusted source gives her incriminating information to back that up — with one huge problem: the final and his team claim the documents are forged. The Vanguard “re-reports” (weird terminology) the story and Eileen quits in a self-righteous fury — just as stories of her alleged bullying several of the paper’s female staffers are delivered to light. She attributes it to “woke wussies” and cancel culture (a tip of the editorial cap to topicality); cut to 4 months later and she or he’s writing a book in regards to the general in her ridiculously large, plush apartment with way too many panoramic views of Manhattan.

That’s where she’s visited by her old newspaper colleague, crusty Stanley Kornick (Jeff Perry, Cyrus from “Scandal”). That they had a falling out 17 years earlier but he’s here now, rumpled and in her Architectural Digest-type digs, to supply her a job on the Each day Alaskan, the state’s largest newspaper where he’s editor-in-chief.

(“For what it’s value, we’d like good reporting within the minor leagues, too,” he tells her. The paper downsized to a strip-mall location.)

Cut to Elizabeth on a plane sure for Anchorage because the paper’s recent star reporter. Her fierce, take-no-prisoners, rubbing-everyone-the-wrong-way facade is dented a bit when she suffers a mid-flight panic attack — see, she is vulnerable — but by Day One in her Anchorage hotel room she’s already plastered the wall with photos of the indigenous women whose disappearances she’s now investigating … and immediately clashes along with her recent colleagues (pushy Latest York City reporter and all that, but they’ll eventually bond).

Eileen (Hilary Swank) along with her colleagues Roz (Grace Dove) and Stanley Kornick (Jeff Perry) within the Each day Alaskan office.ABC

“Alaska Each day,” which is predicated on a ProPublica/ Anchorage Each day News investigation has the potential to catch on with viewers for a weekly subscription if it could actually muzzle its high-and-mighty tone starting with Swank, who’s an executive producer (the pilot was written and directed by Oscar-winning “Highlight” screenwriter Tom McCarthy, who knows a thing or two about investigative reporting). It tries too hard, initially, and, with time could find its groove, since its heart is in the proper place. Swank is surrounded by an appealing supporting forged — including Matt Malloy, Meredith Holzman, Grace Dove and Pablo Castelblanco — and Perry, who, unencumbered by the … Halting … Dialogue … Delivery … that plagued every major character on “Scandal,” steps nicely into his comfortable-shoe role.

“Alaska Each day” premieres Thursday, Oct. 6 at 10 p.m. on ABC.

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