BOOMTOWN. “Pilot.” NBC, 29 September 2002. Donnie Wahlberg, Neal McDonough, Mykelti Williamson, Gary Basaraba, Lana Parrilla, Jason Gedrick, Nina Garbiras. Creator-screenwriter: Graham Yost. Director: Jon Avnet.

   The movie Pulp Fiction (1994) showed that film audiences could accept movies that were not shown in linear fashion. That audiences could follow stories that curled back, overlapped itself, and jumped ahead again — if done well, and Pulp Fiction most certainly was.

   But TV audiences, apparently, were a harder sell. Despite the approval of critics, ratings for the first season were low and the cast was considerably reshuffled for a quickly aborted second season, which also lost the basic concept of a single crime per episode being investigated from different perspectives and time frames.

   I’ve only seen this, the first episode of season one, and I found it very well done. I had no trouble following the story, but a second time through made it abundantly clear how well the script was written and directed.

   The story is about the drive-by Los Angeles (Boomtown) shooting of two young schoolgirls. On the scene and tackling the case from a wide array of differing angles are the D.A., a female reporter) also the D.A.’s secret girl friend, a female paramedic, and three police officers, of whom Donnie Wahlberg appears to be the primary lead in the rest of the series as well.

   Each one of the above has their own back story, much of which is shown, albeit sometimes briefly, as the investigation unfolds. It makes for a bit of a clutter in this, the opening episode, but making the characters individuals rather than faceless ciphers also makes for very enjoyable watching.