Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Rizzoli & Isles pilot something special

     TNT is presenting something special tonight: the premiere of their new drama, Rizzoli & Isles.  The show, set in Boston, stars Angie Harmon (Law & Order) as homicide detective Jane Rizzoli and Sasha Alexander (NCIS, Dawson's Creek) as medical examiner Maura Isles, the title characters.  Both characters are drawn from the books of Tess Gerritsen, as this seems to be the summer of television based on the written word.  Rizzoli is tough and tomboyish, Isles is fashionable and worldly, but slightly creepy with her fascination for dead bodies.  Both women seem to be successful professionals who work well together, but are best friends.  TNT is going for the opposites-attract vibe (both women are straight) for a female buddy drama.

      In the pilot, "See One. Do One. Teach One.", Rizzoli is shocked to discover a copycat killer on the loose.  The shock is deep because the killer this newbie trained from is the same one that kidnapped, mutilated, and molested Rizzoli while she was investigating them.  Soon, her tormentor breaks out of prison and joins his apprentice.  Isles took a smaller role, as this episode was all about Rizzoli dealing with her feelings and trying to catch the bad guys.  Lest you think she's soft, wait until you see what happened when heroine and villains collide.  I won't spoil it, since it hasn't aired yet, but it's fantastic.

     One interesting character introduced in the pilot is Agent Dean (Billy Burke, the Twilight saga), whom both Rizzoli and Isles seem interested in, but he appears to favor the former.  However, her awkward social skills around boys make it difficult to gauge whether he registered her return of feelings or not.  For a brief scene, I thought he might be the apprentice, and it scared the crap out of me.  Thank goodness the show didn't go that way, and I hope that he will stick around.  Also starring is Bruce McGill (MacGyver, Animal House) as Rizzoli's former partner and Lee Thompson Young (The Famous Jett Jackson) as her squeamish new one.  Young was smart or lucky enough to get off of Flash Forward in the middle of it's first and only season to do this show.

     The cast is great, the chemistry was set.  The pilot was wonderful because of the personal drama and horror felt by Rizzoli, so I don't know that the show can sustain that.  It wouldn't make sense for her to be so intimately involved in every case.  However, Isles is played by a very talented actress, woefully underused in the first episode, so that element is still a bit in the dark.  It was certainly good enough that I will be tuning in again next week, without a doubt.

     Check out Rizzoli & Isles tonight on TNT at 10pm.

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