News Column

Television: Another Crime Drama and the Skinny on ' Mistresses'

June 10, 2013

YellowBrix

June 10--ON "The Closer" that many TV fans will know him from, Jon Tenney was a supporting character to the real star there, Kyra Sedgwick.

In a new crime drama debuting tonight on TNT, Tenney is surely in the show's center as a private investigator still trying to get over a life-shattering failure as a Secret Service agent.

That's a good thing, because his partner in this series based on the books by David Baldacci is the weaker link both because of the actress who plays her, Rebecca Romijn ("X-Men"), and because her character is the follower in this tw0-person investigative office.

It isn't that Romijn is terrible. She's pretty, her delivery is passable and by the end of the first hour, there is a touch of chemistry developing between these two partners.

But because her range is limited and her strongest asset is her pretty face, it's a good thing Tenney's along to do the heavy lifting.

That said, this isn't a series created to redefine crime shows.

It follows the formula viewers will know well, with these partners getting new cases each week that involve murder and more.

Because there's always a real policeman or two around, the cast also includes two FBI agents (Michael O'Keefe and Chris Butler), whose main purpose seems to be to insult these private investigators and remind them both of failings in their Secret Service days.

But just from the back story alone in tonight's pilot, it's clear that Tenney's character is the one most episodes will flow through.

We learn that his character, Sean King, didn't just give up on life after the presidential candidate he was guarding was assassinated.

Sure, for a while he ended up in a destructive spiral.

But then he got help from a lawyer who figures into tonight's episode. It was then that King got his life together, earning a law degree and the opportunity to take cases that make a difference.

Romijn's Michelle Maxwell seems to be around largely as a foil for her partner, the two of them arguing over everything from her lack of housekeeping skills to the age-old question: wine or beer?

Fans of "The Closer" will warm up to Tenney's King fairly quickly, while it may take a bit longer to warm up to Romijn's Maxwell.

Do we need another investigative/crime drama? Not really. But does Tenney deserve his own show after adding much to his last effort, "The Closer"?

Definitely.

This time, as the lead.

MISERABLE 'MISTRESSES'

When you watch a show and feel bad for members of the cast, it's not a good sign.

That was this reviewer's response to the crass and downright creepy things star Alyssa Milano had to do in the pilot.

OK, we get that a show called "Mistresses" is going to be about several women cheating on their spouses or engaging in some other sort of behavior designed to draw viewers.

But in just the show's first hour, the former "Charmed" star was shown trying on skimpy lingerie, pulling her skirt up to flash a male co-worker and then jumping that co-worker's bones after having a fight with her husband.

And that's just one of the four women in this mix who are, well, always mistressing one way or another.

Based on a British series, this short-run summer offering has some interesting women in the cast, mainly Milano and Yunjin Kim from "Lost."

But goodness gracious, by the end of the first hour, we've seen a loving wife cheat with a co-worker, a renowned therapist sleep with her dying patient and a real estate agent have sex all over houses she's selling.

From the get-go, the show barely paused between all the heaving bodies to even introduce the characters.

It needed to, because things can get pretty darn confusing when you're not sure whose naked body that is under, um, whoever that was.

WANT TO WATCH?

What: "King & Maxwell"

When: Mondays at 10 p.m.

Where: TNT

What: "Mistresses"

When: Mondays at 10 p.m.

Where: ABC

Rob Hedelt: 540/374-5415

rhedelt@freelancestar.com

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Visit The Free Lance-Star (Fredericksburg, Va.) at www.fredericksburg.com/flshome

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