Television Review: TNT's Rizzoli and Isles — Pilot Episode

Rizzoli and Isles takes the James Patterson approach to murder-solving ladies. Think the first novel in the Women's Murder Club series. That's right. These ladies are more focused on murders than Manolos.

Not to say that the lead characters are gender-proof she-cops with no aim on anything but their careers. They are real women and behave as such — and it's unbelievable how refreshing this is. They manage to scope out that hottie from the FBI without ever compromising their respectability as our heroes. Letting Rizzoli and Isles retain a realistic dose of femininity balances out the whole empowered female thing without getting obnoxious.

Stars Angie Harmon and Sasha Alexander juggle the delicate chemistry of a tomboy detective (with suspiciously long hair) and a hot doctor who wears knee-high PVC heels to an outdoor crime scene in such a way where we not only believe they work well together, but we buy that they like it.

[image-1]They are joined by a well-balanced array of male co-stars including cute, squeamish rookie (Lee Thompson Young) and cranky, been-around-the-block cop (Bruce McGill).

The pilot episode centers around a copycat killer who stirs up past baggage with our heroes, thus presenting an opportunity for a lot of exposition that is also relevant to the action.

The episode is self-contained, which is surprising given both the heavy nature of the plot and a truly chilling performance by David Purdham as Hoyt, the necrophiliac serial killer whose crimes are being mimicked.

It would have been an easy move to create a season-long antagonist out of Hoyt and his copycat. Instead, it seems we will get a new story and a new evil foe on a weekly basis with just enough of a through storyline to keep us coming back. (These include hot men, a tortoise and a small dog.)

So, this is me, sheepishly coming forward to say that I not only loved Episode 1 of Rizzoli and Isles, but I will be back for the rest of the season. I stand corrected, but I'm still not okay with that tag line.

I have a confession to make. I only volunteered to review the pilot episode of Rizzoli and Isles because it looked awful. The promos TNT has been airing played this series like Sex and the City with guns. Go ahead and try to come up with something harder to sit through (or more fun to rip apart in a Daily Loaf review).

I mean, for God's sake, the tag line (I'm not making this up) is, "Little girls are sugar and spice … and everything vice."

I am here to tell you, dear reader, that I was woefully mistaken.

Scroll to read more Events & Film articles


Join Creative Loafing Tampa Bay Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.