First Impressions

Rizzoli & Isles

Aired on: TNT

Reviewed by Melissa Minners

            Iím a huge fan of The Closer, a show I watch ever Monday at 9PM EST on TNT, so when they announced that the new season of The Closer would start on July 9, 2010, I was excited.  Following the promo for The Closer was a new television series that would begin its debut on July 9th right after The Closer.  This new police drama, based on characters in a series of novels by Tess Gerritsen, features Angie Harmon in a starring role.  Having enjoyed her work on series like Law & Order and Womenís Murder Club, I decided I would stay on TNT an extra hour and catch Rizzoli & Isles.

            Angie Harmon stars as Jane Rizzoli, a Boston homicide detective with a severe case of trust issues stemming from injuries received while attempting to save a serial killerís next victim.  Saddled with a new and extremely green partner (Lee Thompson Young), Rizzoli is determined to put those memories in the past, but a recent murder bares all the markings of The Surgeonís work.  Trouble is, The Surgeon (Michael Masse) is still in prison, meaning that either Boston is being plagued by a copycat murderer or The Surgeon trained an apprentice before being sent to prison.

            Sasha Alexander is Maura Isles, a quirky, well-respected medical examiner whose attention to detail is uncanny.  Rizzoli and Isles are polar opposites - Rizzoli enjoys a low-key lifestyle, comfortable clothing and a rousing game of basketball while Isles is more of an upscale kind of girl whose idea of fun is curling up with her pet turtle in an expensive outfit while reading about the latest discoveries in science.  Despite their differences, the two are good friends, seeing a common ground in their attention to detail and determination to solve the mysteries of a homicide.

            The show boasts a few big actors in supporting roles.  Lorraine Bracco portrays Rizzoliís demanding and slightly overprotective mother who is not happy with her daughterís dangerous career or her lack of love life.  Bruce McGill portrays Rizzoliís former partner who is a tad peeved at the idea that Rizzoli is finally accepting the idea of partnering up again and decided against reuniting with him.  Even Donnie Wahlberg makes an appearance as a police lieutenant.

            The first episode of Rizzoli & Isles bore a very interesting resemblance to Womenís Murder Club in which Harmon portrayed a homicide detective whose best friend just happened to be the medical examiner.  Harmonís character was plagued by a case involving a serial killer, but in the case of Womenís Murder Club, the murders were different and the killer was never caught.  Of course, this new series is missing a female District Attorney and crime reporter, but there are quite a few similarities on the surface.

            Under the surface, Rizzoli & Isles shows some promise.  While we have learned quite a bit about Rizzoli in the first episode, Islesí character has yet to be truly explored.  Sheís displayed enough quirkiness in the debut to offer up the promise of an interesting and layered character in the style of Dr. Temperance Brennan in the series Bones.  With such vastly different and interesting characters working together to solve homicides, things can get interesting. 

            Rizzoli & Isles will have to show me a bit more before I can say that this show is worth my while.  While it has piqued my interest, Iím not sure I want to permanently add it to my television schedule just yet.  Rizzoli & Isles shows some promise, but itís going to have to show me a bit more to get me truly invested.


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