Jane and Reg are taken out of the city when parents of a young girl are found murdered in a hotel room. Jane has a hard time convincing the young girl to speak with her about the man that killed her ...
A series of brutal sex murders disturbingly similar to the pattern of Superintendent Jane Tennison's first major case leads to the awful suggestion that she may have caught the wrong man the first time.
Detective Superintendent Jane Tennison's investigation of the murder of a Bosnian refugee leads her to one, or possibly two, Serbian war criminals determined to silence the last witness to a massacre a decade before.
I rarely review TV series as they are so changeable from one episode to the next. However, sometimes I can see some promise that bears mentioning. This series is derived from a successful series in the UK of the same name, starring no less than Helen Mirren. This US version is set within the NYPD and stars Maria Bello as tough-as-nails NYPD homicide Detective Jane Timoney, an outsider who has just transferred into a new squad where her prospective colleagues have prejudged her and decided to not like her before even meeting her.
Now, unlike some, I have spent a bit of time wearing a badge on the streets so I know what it's like, to be one and to convince others that you belong wearing a badge. To me, women playing cops, regardless of whether it's in the movies or on television, begin with a serious handicap. That handicap is that most of them are never convincing as cops. Almost every actress I've seen try on such a role fails because she doesn't have the necessary "edge" to her mannerisms or manner of speaking to make them convincing in the role.
The speech aspect isn't about getting the jargon right either, although that helps, it's literally about the manner of speech they learn to adopt. Women in our society have a characteristic way of speaking. Female cops, real female cops, no longer speak that way and that is the part almost no actresses get. That convincing part is the depth of self-assurance and self-confidence that it takes for a woman to succeed in such a man's world and also survive. A female LEO learns to have that fairly early in her career. The result is that they are cops to the bone and it shows in how they handle themselves and how they talk. Any cop, even a girl, has to convince people that they own the piece of ground they are standing on or they will fail. If they can't do that well you may as well put them in a cape and high heels because that won't sell either.
Now, the people making this series have actually tried to get together a group of actors that can come across with a degree of accuracy. They aren't perfect, but they're working on it. The star, Ms. Bello, has done some great work in motion pictures. She appears to have been trying to get into this role as she doesn't come across as a lame actress trying to do it. She has been believable to a degree that almost no women ever have. We'll see how it goes, but I think her efforts can be torpedoed by the people making the show, writers, directors, etc.
I also like the choices for the other actors; Bello's boss is played by Aidan Quinn as Lt. Kevin Sweeney (find a way to use him more); Kirk Acevedo plays Det. Luisito Calderon; Brian O'Byrne as Det. Reg Duffy (he's been especially great thus far) and Peter Gerety as Desmond Timoney, Jane's father.
So, the bones of a great beast are there. I'll have to watch longer to see if the makers can truly breathe some life into the creature so that it can reach it's full potential. So-far, so-good. The most immediate disappointment is that it's airing on network TV, which is all but dead creatively in the US now. I hardly know anyone who watches much network TV any more. The cable shows have such greater chance at approaching realism now days that it's a shame the makers of this show will be denied a great many of the newer tools; especially for this kind of show. Good luck. Sincerely.
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