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Antoine Fuqua’s Drama Series ‘Ice,’ Reviewed Using Vanilla Ice Lyrics

Let's kick it — to the curb.

Ice AT&T Cam Gigandet & Jeremy Sisto

AT&T/Audience Network

[Editor’s Note: The following is what IndieWire TV Critic Ben Travers claims to be an interview he conducted with Vanilla Ice — an “expert on ice,” according to Mr. Travers  — about the new AT&T Original Series, “Ice.” Despite his insistence, it’s quite clear that the below back-and-forth is not an interview (no recording or even transcript could be provided upon request), but simply a staged conversation using lyrics from “Ice, Ice, Baby” to introduce key points about the TV show, “Ice.” We apologize for his behavior, as well as to Mr. Ice, if he happens to read this. But it’s been a long week, so we’re just gonna go with it.]

All right, stop. 

Yes, please. Let me stop you right here. If all you need to know about “Ice” is whether or not it’s worth your time, I can safely assure you it’s not.

Collaborate and listen.

Collaborate? Like, who’s working together on “Ice”? Well, that’s really the only reason anyone is aware “Ice” exists. The AT&T Original Series airing on DirecTV’s Audience Network is directed and produced by Antoine Fuqua, and he’s easily the biggest name here. The main acting talent consists of Cam Gigandet, who hasn’t aged a day (or discovered any depth of emotion) since he killed Marissa 10 years ago on “The O.C.”, and Jeremy Sisto, who’s back to playing the black sheep brother you want to love but know you can’t.

Ice is back with a brand new invention. 

I have to disagree with you there. “Ice” is nothing new. Ronald Bass has created a story we’ve all seen a thousand times before, only this time it’s set in the jewelry world instead of the drug world. Focusing on a family of corrupt diamond dealers, “Ice” primarily focuses on Freddy (Sisto) and Jake Green (Gigandet) after the former gets the family in a bit of trouble by killing the wrong member of another underground family of dealers. Their father, Issac (Raymond J. Barry), is in poor health and can’t handle the situation, so Jake and his uber imposing uncle, Cam (Ray Winstone), take control. Things get more dangerous and complicated from there, but not in a good way. You know what’s coming, even if it takes forever to unfold.

Ice AT&T Cam Gigandet

Will it ever stop? 

No, it doesn’t feel like it. Though I can’t imagine “Ice” will find a huge audience, so it may be canceled before Season 2.

Anything less than the best is a felony.

Well said, sir. In today’s era of “too much TV,” new series — especially on up and coming networks, like the Audience Network — need to be the best in order to break through. Anything less are a waste of everyone’s time. Audiences have grown accustomed to a certain standard, and “Ice” comes up well short of what the Audience Network and AT&T need to put themselves on the map.

You better hit bullseye. The kid don’t play.

…you just said that. I mean, yeah, “Ice” needed to be a bullseye, and it’s barely on the dartboard. But we already covered this.

If there was a problem, yo, I’d solve it.

Well, there are a plethora of problems, not just one. The dynamic between brothers is one we’ve seen many times before, and it played out with a lot more surprises on “Bloodline” — and remember: We literally saw the end of John and Danny Rayburn’s lifelong battle in the very first episode. These two are polar opposites both trying to live up to the high standards set by their father (and uncle). Jake is on the straight and arrow, doing things by the book and proving himself through dependability and knowledge. Freddy, meanwhile, is a total screw-up who can’t be bothered to show up on time, let alone protect the family fortune.

Ice AT&T Cam Gigandet & Jeremy Sisto

But from an entertainment standpoint, the performers aren’t a good pair. Gigandet has the range of a two-by-four, and Sisto is all charm. Not only does the latter’s energy make Gigandet look all the less emotive, but you can feel Sisto dialing it back so he doesn’t shine too brightly, bouncing off the white board that is his scene partner. Winstone goes the other way with his character, using every item in his deep bag of tricks to make Cam all the more intimidating.

I could go on, but that seems sufficient.

Quick to the point, to the point no faking. 

Efficiency is my middle name, especially when there’s so much more TV — better TV — to be talking about right now.

Ice, ice, baby. Too cold.

Was that too harsh? I’m sorry. I want people to enjoy whatever they choose to watch, but I’m trying to save everyone some time here.

Too cold, too cold.

All right. I’m out of here. Word to your mother.

Grade: C-

“Ice” premieres Wednesday, November 16 at 8 p.m. on the Audience Network.

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