Women's Murder Club
Aired on: ABC
Reviewed by Melissa Minners
Having become a fan of James Patterson since reading the novels Kiss the Girls and Along Came a Spider and then watching the movies, I was still a bit skeptical when I heard about a new television show that would be based on a series of Patterson novels. While Patterson’s novels have proven to translate well into movie format, I have yet to see a novel do that well on television other than via mini-series. However, since I do like Patterson’s work and have always thought Angie Harmon a talented and extremely under-rated actress, I decided to check Women’s Murder Club out.
Based on the Women’s Murder Club book series by James Patterson, ABC’s television series is about four hard working San Francisco-based professional women who come together to solve murders. The series’ first episode, which aired on Friday, October 12, 2007 at 9:00PM EST, began with quite a bang. San Francisco homicide investigator Lindsay Boxer (Angie Harmon - Baywatch Nights, Law and Order) pulls up to a street corner in a suitably fashionable sports car, gets out, looks around and checks her phone message. Apparently, exposé journalist Theresa Woo has asked Lindsay to meet her here, but was very secretive as to why. Just as Lindsay begins to think Woo will not show, the journalist makes a grand entrance crashing into Lindsay’s car from quite a few stories above.
The second member of the club just happens to be a Medical Examiner and Claire Washburn (Paula Newsome - Little Miss Sunshine) arrives on scene to check out the body upon which she will perform an autopsy later in the show. We meet another member of the team shortly afterward as Deputy District Attorney Jill Bernhardt (Laura Harris – 24, The Dead Zone) arrives on the scene and promptly pukes at the site of Woo’s broken body lying atop Lindsay’s car. We don’t meet the fourth and final member of the Women’s Murder Club until later in the episode when Lindsay decides to check Woo’s office for evidence. It is here that Lindsay meets Theresa Woo’s wannabe co-worker Cindy Thomas (Aubrey Dollar – Point Pleasant). Cindy has long been a fan of the Pulitzer winning journalist and is willing to translate Woo’s notes in an effort to find her killer…and get a little notoriety to boot.
As I watched the show, I became more drawn in by the characters. We don’t just see these professional women at their work. We also learn a bit about their professional lives. As a woman working in a primarily male-dominated field, I found that I related to these characters, completely understanding their ups and downs throughout the first episode. But this show isn’t all drama. As television fans and producers alike have realized, a dramatic cop show needs a little humor here and there. The characters are quirky and the banter between them quite enjoyable. I cracked up when Cindy asked if Lindsay, Jill and Claire were part of some club and all three simultaneously said no and walked in opposite directions. I even loved the banter between Lindsay and her ex-husband Tom (Rob Estes - Silk Stalkings, Melrose Place), as she deals with the fact that his new promotion now makes him her boss.
For the most part, I only have one or two complaints. When Lindsay places the handcuffs on Cindy – I won’t tell you why or I’ll spoil things – she places them on her forearms. I’m wondering if I’m the only one who noticed this. Anyone in law enforcement will tell you that this is a big no-no as all the arrested party has to do is wriggle a bit to get the cuffs to slide down their arms, making it fairly easy for them to slide their wrists out of the cuffs – especially with someone whose wrists appear to be rather small. Also, the scene in Jill’s office with the defense attorney was just a bit cloying. I’m not a fan of Kyle Secor (Veronica Mars, Commander in Chief), so maybe that was the problem, but I find it strange that she was apprehensive about being caught by her boss earlier when her boyfriend visited and now - when things would be even worse if she was caught – not so much.
From what I’ve seen so far, I think this show may have some staying power. The mysteries are Closer-esque in that there are twists and turns that lead you off in the wrong direction before pulling you back to reveal the killer’s identity. We get to see two sides of the women – the crime-solving tough and self-assured side and the off-duty side that differs from character to character. Women’s Murder Club will appeal to women thanks to the strong female lead characters in roles usually seen played by men. As an added plus there are some very attractive men playing supportive roles that women will want to ogle at. And of course, men will enjoy the action as well as the easy on the eyes female leads. I’m definitely going to continue watching Women’s Murder Club every Friday at 9PM on ABC.