Wednesday, June 12, 2013

King & Maxwell Premiere

Although I was unsure about this show from its initial previews, after I learned a little more it seemed to be a straightforward crime TV show that stared a familiar face, Jon Tenney (The Closer), so I decided to check it out.  I have to say that I was disappointed; while it is a straightforward crime TV show it's not much more.  It lacks a specific niche, for instance Castle has a bestselling author, or The Mentalist has a carnival trickster, or even Elementary's new twist on the classic Sherlock Holmes. That being said there are some high and low points that, depending on your taste, might sway you towards a yay or nay for this new drama from TNT.

Lets start with the characters.  King is a former secret service agent and lawyer turned PI due to failures in his service record, i.e. the person he was supposed to protect got assassinated.  He is calm, patient and he uses deductive skills to guide him through a case.  Throughout the episode he was one step ahead of Maxwell and constantly rubbing it in.  Making bets about what would happen and when asking what she thought, purposely choosing the opposite which always turned out in his favor.  This made her look like an idiot and not well suited for work as a PI.  Some may consider this an obnoxious trait but for me it gave him a cute charm, like an annoying little brother, which made his attraction to her seem odd and misplaced.  Maxwell is also a washed up secret service agent turned PI because of her failures on the job, i.e. the person she was sworn to protect was kidnapped.  So they should make the perfect underdog team, right?  I had trouble understanding why they were partners or how they were drawn together except for King's few comments reveling an attraction to Maxwell.  Even that was cryptic as he is not pursuing her, he quickly shakes off his feelings to focus on the case, but even seeing an ex-boyfriend of Maxwell irks him.  In many other shows similar to this one,again Castle, The Mentalist, Perception etc. we know why the partners are together from the start.  I am sure that in time we will find out what drew them together and why they decided to go into business but for now it creates a huge gap in the story and makes it hard to love them, even like them, understand them and connect with them, all of which are important aspects to me.  A big issue in my opinion was Maxwell's recklessness.  Sure, showing high action car chases and intense shooting scenes is an important factor in this genre of television, but her actions and her personality don't match up.  We see someone who likes to row to work, a serene activity much like meditation whereas someone so impulsive would like to box or even run.  Her whole personality is an enigma to me and not the logical Sudoku like puzzle that is solvable, more like a misprint in a newspaper that calls for a retraction.  Atop that private investigators have no badge, no ability to cause blocks worth of car accidents and shoot into the night at a fleeing car, yet she is able to do all these things without any repercussion of the law.  It just doesn't add up.  Plus she seems to have no intellect or detective skills, more like hired muscle.     

I found most of the dialogue to be of poor quality, cheesy and forced.  A lot of it was wasted explaining what was going on in the case, walking the viewers through, like a Disney film.  The dialogue didn't help with their personas either.  While King had some entertaining bits, Maxwell came off as reserved maybe even shy and her actions were more relatable to a spy.  While this could be compared to Burn Notice's Michael Weston whose character comes off a bit shallow in the intellect department, his vast knowledge of spy related tactics makes up for it and it is his companion Fiona is the reckless one and her personality, body language and dialogue screams it.  Similarly in Burn Notice they go about their destructive escapades without repercussion from the police but this is because they are good at hiding in the shadows.  After Maxwell roars through the capital causing destruction she simply waits for, or even calls the police leaving no room for plausible deniability and frankly should be in jail. 

With its Catch Me if you Can inspired, or just downright stolen, intro you would think they would be a little less brazen and a lot more stealthy.  Altogether this show was more like a stream of good ideas horribly put together, like squirting different shades of paint on the Mona Lisa.  With the dialogue of a C-list movie, the plot of an easily solvable children's puzzle and the character development of well, an idea that was never refined.  Maybe I'll learn to love it but this premiere was a total flop.

I like to be mystified, pulled in, begging for more and at the least entertained.  Instead I was perplexed, bored and a little bit angry for wasting my time.  So if you like fast car scenes and shoot 'em up gun play, you might find this entertaining.  If you're into crime dramas and whodunit's you'll probably have it solved in the first half and have to listen to them walk you through it for the second. If you want to  fall in love with the characters you might have a hard time figuring out who they even are.  But I'll keep a close eye on the developments week to week and let you know how their story unfolds - if it even does.    

Monday, June 10, 2013

What to Watch on TNT

TNT is one of my favorite channels.  I used to watch Law & Order reruns day after day until I had seen them all.  I still use TNT to catch up on older shows like The Mentalist, Bones and Castle as well as their good choice of movie options, but now we have a whole new TNT with tons of original summer shows!  Unlike some stations where I am picky with my choices, I plan to watch almost all of TNT's new dramas.  Here is a list of what is coming up and what I will be watching & blogging!

Falling Skies 6/9 - a great post alien earth apocalypse show.  This year we will rejoin the 2nd Massachusetts, a group of civilian survivors and a military regime, lead by Noah Wyle(ER) in the third season of the show.  In the last two years we watched the initial aftermath of the invasion as an alien group not only tore the world apart, but also captures children "harnessing" them to use as slave labor.  The seasons contain tons of action, ups and downs, and is sci-fi at its greatest.  Compared to other shows of its kind (mainly Defiance as the only comparable show on TV now) it soars above offering not only action and a great array of actors (Terry O'Quinn, Colin Cunningham, Matt Frewer) but also a good satire.

Major Crimes 6/10 - this spin off of the ever popular The Closer, delivers.  With Kyra Sedgwick gone, the rest of the Los Angeles Major Crimes Unit continues to close cases.  It stays true to its big brother show, however it does lack the quirky main character and replaces it with the once hated overseer. But lets not forget that when Sedgwick entered the cast as an outsider from Georgia, in the big city with a high post that many believed she wasn't deserving of was how The Closer was born.  It's kinda like TNT hit reset and we start again.  If your into crime dramas, this is a pretty good one.

King & Maxwell 6/10 - another crime drama and TNT loves to just put two names together with an ampersand instead of creating a good title...but I won't hold that against them.  With Jon Tenney (Brenda's husband from The Closer), this show is about two private detectives and their escapades.  It premiers soon, so I am yet to have an opinion but I will say this - It doesn't look bad. : )

Rizzoli & Isles 6/25 - another crime drama about a homicide detective and her best friend the medical examiner set in Boston.  I have to admit that I wasn't a fan of the show in the beginning.  I am not really into the 2 girls and their issues, it seemed a little Sex in the City to me.  But after nothing was on except a marathon of the show, I got into it.  I am all about the crime TV...probably my forte, and the character Rizzoli is the polar opposite of Isles - tomboy vs. fashionista.  It is a decent watch and the kind of show where it is okay to miss an episode because there isn't much long-term storyline stuff going on (other than the brothers ex-girlfriend is pregnant, and is it really his kid or not crap that I could care less about). Depending on your taste you may love it or hate it, but for me it rates so-so; I'll watch it, but I won't be waiting in anticipation for the next episode.

Perception 6/25 - another crime drama but this one come with a twist, and I love a twist! Quirky schizophrenic professor helps young FBI agent solve crimes, but we never really know what is real and what is created by the mind.  I have to say that when the previews for this show started I had mixed feelings, I was hoping for A Beautiful Mind comes to television and I knew that was too much to ask and I was inevitably going to be disappointed.  I was and I wasn't.  It wasn't as abstract and "beautiful" as I hoped, but I did get entangled in the various relationships of the show and learned a few things along the way (which I love).  I would say this is a must watch, and ranks high in TNT's list of original dramas.  

So these are the TNT summer finds you should definitely check out...and then read what I have to say about it the morning after!