Rizzoli and Isles

Based (loosely?) on the novels by Tess Gerritsen, the TV series finally hit UK television last week. Two episodes in, what’s the verdict?

It’s a real shame the makers have gone for a ‘monster of the week’ structure with no obvious (at this stage at least) series-long story arc, so it’s more CSI and less The Wire. It’s really hard, even for the most skilled writers, to get to grips with a crime, solve it and throw in a twist for good measure in 40 or so minutes.

Coming to the characters fresh (I’ve not read the books) I can really see the appeal of tough-talking homicide detective Jane Rizzoli. Though I think professional shoe-shopper, mildly Aspergic, Maura Isles might be a more difficult sell. We get she’s intellectually brilliant and socially inept already, but the programme makers seem determined to drive those points home again and again. Jane has some fabulous one-liners and generally the use of humour does its job in ameliorating the worst of the gruesomeness of the crimes.

So far we’ve had a Hannibal Lector style serial killer mentoring an apprentice and the resurrection of the Boston Strangler. Not bad for the first two episodes.

However clunky the crime solving aspect, it’s a joy to watch a version of Cagney and Lacey for the 21st century. The relationship between the two women is the really appealing part of the package. All we need now is someone to reprise the Harvey role.


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