RIZZOLI & ISLES (TV series, 2010)

Producers: Janet Tamaro, Jeffrey M. Hayes, Sheelin Choksey, Ronald Chong...

Writers: Tess Gerritsen (Series based on Tess Gerritsen's novels featuring Jane Rizzoli.)
Janet Tamaro (written by)

Directed by: Michael M. Robin...

Cast: Angie Harmon, Sasha Alexander, Lorraine Bracco, Lee Thompson Young, Bruce McGill, Jordan Bridges...

Run time: 60 minutes

Schedule: TNT TV, Monday 10 p.m. (Since this is a new series, there are several repeat showings of the pilot and first few episodes each week. Check local listings for times/days.)

Genre: Cop/crime

Reviewed by Cherie Jung

Two words. Hated it.

What were the directors, writer, and producers thinking? Put two beautiful women as leads in a cop show and the audience will lap it up? Wrong. Cagney & Lacey this ain't! Not even close. There is simply no chemistry between to the two lead characters.

Rizzoli (Angie Harmon) is the tough Italian cop, with beauty and brains, but her mom still hasn't accepted that her little girl isn't settled down and married. Mom also doesn't understand when daughter Jane is on-call and gets a homicide call, she can't wait for her father to come home and have dinner before rushing off to the crime scene. This stereo-type has been done so many times, it's sad to see it again.

Meanwhile, Maura Isles (Sasha Alexander) is the beautiful, never a hair out of place, always dressed up Barbie-Doll counterpart to tomboy Jane Rizzoli. Trust me, it wears thin quickly. Name any other TV show with a forensic scientist and turn the channel if you want a decent portrayal of a coroner/medical examiner.

Part of the problem is there's no sense of place. It could be anywhere (and I don't mean that as a compliment). There is nothing unique about the characters (they seem to be nothing more than walking, talking character tags...). There is nothing unique or even very interesting about the crime. Bad guy tricks the prison guards, escapes and comes after Rizzoli to finish the attack on her that he started before he was incarcerated. Almost every TV cop show has filmed the same story - some with better results than others. Criminal Minds comes to mind as one that has covered this territory in a much more interesting and suspenseful effort.

In fact, the bad guy in RIZZOLI & ISLES is played by the very same actor (Michael Massee) who played a similar role on Criminal Minds.

It's pretty bad when the best parts of the show are a tortoise and a small yippy-yappy-type dog named Jo Friday.

I wanted to like this series. I read Tess Gerritsen's books. They are quite well-written and suspenseful. Unfortunately, the TV version has not translated Gerritsen's storytelling ability or suspense to the screen.

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