Please note that I’m about to review The Rookie: Feds (September 2022), a TV show that hasn’t yet premiered. I got a sneak peek at the new ABC spinoff series while watching episodes 19 and 20 of Season 4 of The Rookie.
Here’s the official announcement: From the executive producers of the flagship series “The Rookie” comes “The Rookie: Feds” starring Niecy Nash-Betts as Simone Clark, the oldest rookie in the FBI Academy. Officer John Nolan (Nathan Fillion) and the LA division of the FBI enlist the help of Clark when one of her former students is a suspect in a terror attack.
In The Rookie: Feds, Special Agent Simone Clark joins the Bureau and enters the FBI Academy when she is 48 years old. However, the age limit for new agents is 36.
Reality Check – There are a few restrictive age waiver exceptions for applicants coming from other federal law enforcement agencies and some military veterans, however, no high school guidance counselor (even a highly qualified and astute one) has or will ever receive an appointment to the FBI after they have reached their 37th birthday. The entire concept of The Rookie: Feds is inherently wrong. Just wrong.
As a crime novelist myself, I’m fully aware of the necessity of making creative compromises with our plots. My mantra is – “The most important thing is your story.”
However, in FBI Myths and Misconceptions: A Manual for Armchair Detectives, my book on creating realistic FBI characters and plots, I discuss the two primary reasons a writer should, when possible, follow real life FBI policies and procedures when crafting their FBI plots and heroes and heroines:
- An educated audience will be mentally thrown out of the story each time they read or watch something that’s inaccurate. That’s not good. Writers should want to keep their readers and viewers engaged.
- The uneducated audience will watch the show and pick up inaccurate info about the FBI, in this case, the age requirements for joining.
I’ve been waiting for a realistic police procedural drama featuring a strong Black female FBI agent. I love Niecy Nash, but, sadly, this show is not it.
Season 4 of The Rookie is streaming on Hulu. Click here to watch the official teaser for The Rookie: Feds.