In terms of female partnerships, those relationships displayed a sister-like camaraderie that surpassed everything else on the show. Cagney & Lacey would be the perfect example. TNT planned to add their newest drama Rizzoli & Isles to the list with mixed results.
Rizzoli & Isles followed tough talking Boston Police Det. Jane Rizzoli (Angie Harmon) as she worked with her ill-experienced partner Det. Barry Frost (Lee Thompson Young) to catch murderers. Jane faced many challenges on a daily basis inside and outside the office. She was the police detective in her division that made her feel special and an outsider at the same time. Jane had a slightly competitive relationship with her brother Frankie (Jordan Bridges) that made her forget her agenda for a brief moment. The only thing she couldn’t avoid was her extremely opinionated mother Angie (Lorraine Bracco) who constantly demanded grandchildren to spoil. Jane appeared to be invulnerable to her feelings, but she did have a moment of weakness now and again. Whenever Jane had those moments, she turned to Medical Examiner Maura Isles (Sasha Alexander) for advice on men and solving cases. Despite being polar opposites, the extremely calm Maura was Jane’s best friend as they shared a common bond for stopping criminals and the occasional share crush. Will their partnership survive their dangerous careers and personal desires?
Sadly, Rizzoli & Isles seemed like a rather typical cop show with stereotypical male behavior as they tried to pigeonhole their few female colleagues. The case themselves haven’t reinvented the storytelling wheel as the women struggled to find their identity outside of work. Harmon and Alexander were the only cast members given the opportunity to develop their characters beyond being cardboard cut-outs. Despite playing similar characters before, Harmon was at her snarky best as she snarled at suspects and her male colleagues. Her rapport with Alexander allowed her character to tone down Jane’s sometimes off-putting attitude for the occasional scene or two. Alexander, on the other hand, was more of a quirky enigma than leading lady material. She allowed Maura’s tendency for designer duds and fascination with expensive things to speak for her in the premiere. Hopefully, Alexander will have more of an opportunity to flesh out her character in future episodes.
Rizzoli & Isles premiered on June 12th and airs Mondays at 10 p.m. on TNT.
TV Score: 2.5 out of 5 stars
1 Star (Mediocre)
2 Stars (Averagely Entertaining)
3 Stars (Decent Enough to Pass Muster)
4 Stars (Near Perfect)
5 Stars (Gold Standard)