Tonight, Bitchy Teresa and myself performed a joint review of the new TNT cop-drama, Rizzoli and Isles, based off the series of books by Tess Gerritsen. This show stars Angie Harmon as Detective Jane Rizzoli, a homicide detective who is still making her way in the boy's club of police work; and Sasha Alexander, as Dr. Maura Isles, a medical examiner with a killer sense of style and Rizzoli's best friend. Guess what these two do? If you guess solve crimes using a combination of law enforcement, science and snark... well, then you have totally seen this show before.
This week's premiere itself was pretty straightforward: Detective Rizzoli and Dr. Isles team up to solve a string of serial killings that look eerily similar to those of a serial killer whom Rizzoli helped put in prison. When the serial killer escapes, it is up to Rizzoli and Isles to find him AND his partner--before Rizzoli becomes the next victim. (I should write tag lines for networks...)
Now, you DO have to suspend belief in the realities of law enforcement for some scenes in this show-- like, say, wearing sky-high "hooker heels" (Teresa's words) to a crime scene, or eating donuts in the autopsy room. And hopefully in other episodes the writers won't try to stack so much story-telling into one hour. The ending was a little too quickly and unrealistically done (they really ran out of time)... these are minor quibbles, though. The major bitch that Teresa and I both have about this show is its utter lack of originality.
Let's be honest here at the Warrior: This show stole from almost every cop show and movie known to man. If you name a cop show or movie thriller from the past 20 years, I bet you would find some remnant of it here. If it weren't based off books in the first place, this show could have been called SilenceoftheBoneCollectoratCSIwhoiswaitingonBones. Did we have our CSI moments? Sure. Bones? Hell yeah. The Silence of the Lambs and The Bone Collector? Check and check. Teresa said that she thought this was created in a "think tank full of cop-drama nerds." I can see that...
There were a couple of parts where I knew what was going to be said or Teresa and I both knew what was going to happen. As Rizzoli was doing a prison interview with a psychotic killer that had almost killed her and who holds the key to solving a new string of killings, he told her that he dreamed of her. Of COURSE the only correct response for Rizzoli was, "I don't even think about you." (Please, for all that is good in the world retire this scene... retire that exchange...NOW.)
Oh, and while we are bitching about scenes that REALLY need retired: when a serial killer is on the loose and two partners are doing a stakeout, when one leaves to go heed nature's call or go look around, we KNOW they're going to get maimed or killed. There are other ways to surprise us... please find them. We're begging... Teresa and I saw that move with Korsak a MILE AWAY... in the dark... with blindfolds on. Teresa's twitter response: "Smart move, get out of the car & go looking around." I couldn't tweet, I was too busy eye rolling.
Don't get me wrong, the show does have some good things going for it. The cast has some very good actors involved. Besides Harmon and Alexander, you have Lorraine Bracco, who plays Rizzoli's meddling mother, Angela. Teresa and I agree she is the best thing about this show-- adds wit, and unlike her TV daughter, doesn't overact the scenes she is in.
Bruce McGill (Oh, he of Animal House legend)plays Detective Vince Korsak, who was Rizzoli's partner and mentor. I have never seen McGill do bad work, and he performed well here, with a good combination of humor and toughness.
I would be remiss if I didn't mention that Billy Burke (Bella's daddy in Twilight)made an appearance as an FBI agent for whom Isles' stomach started doing hula hoops around her ovaries. His character was also working the serial killer case, and there was the requisite amount of sexual tension between him and BOTH the ladies.
As for Harmon and Alexander, they performed well. I have to admit, Harmon tends to overeach a tad bit much for me. She seemed to be trying too hard to hit the cop beats and it came off sounding rather one note to me. It took me a few minutes to see Alexander as the ME (I kept waiting for Ducky to show up instead-- my NCIS fixation at work), but once I did, she really pulled it off well.
I was loathe to discuss this, but it became such a HOT TOPIC on twitter last night that I have to mention it-- Rizzoli and Isles could really get into some decent fem-lovin' on the show. My goodness...you could literally cut the sexual tension those two had with a knife.
When you have Rizzoli showing up at Isles' house for some comfort and Isles comes out in a gray nightgown that (I SWEAR) seemed to almost sway around her seductively... or when you have Isles coming over to Rizzoli's to help clean her ransacked house, looking at Rizzoli and slyly saying "So, where do I begin?"-- it makes one wonder how many episodes it's going to take before Logo Network purchasing the right to repeat. I can see guys tuning in just to see these two flirt with one another... and I already know the 'shipping has begun. Whether or not the writers meant for this to happen-- I don't know... but it was entertaining just to watch these two do more flirting with each other than with the hot FBI agent. I'm curious (maybe not the right choice of word) to see where this goes.
As to the verdict: Mondays at 10pm... not a whole lot going on. This isn't the worst show on TV, though it is completely unoriginal; so, go ahead and give it a chance... if all else fails, you may see a sexual revolution on TNT. Now who wouldn't mind that?