Prime Suspect (VOD Hidden Gem)October 21, 2011
Media savant T Tara Turk goes deep inside cable TV to reveal Video On Demand's Hidden Gems so even the busiest of our readers can get the most out of On Demand TV. Tell Tara what VOD shows you think deserves her attention.
PRIME SUSPECT (VOD Hidden Gem)
With all the hoopla going on for the Fall about women, tv and comedies, I’m a bit unclear about why there’s no cheer behind some of the dramas with fantastic women behind them. I’ve already told you that nobody does crime like the Brits (maybe because they’ve been around longer and have very little sunshine thus causing the macabre to be a regular mood - that’s my scientific theory) and sometimes I even like it when we take their shows and make them our own. For instance, I can’t imagine Prime Suspect being anything other than what it is: complex, gritty, sarcastic and stylized.
I’m a fan of Maria Bello (except for that weird bit she did replacing Rachel Weisz - Mrs. Bond - for THE MUMMY: TOMB OF THE DRAGON EMPEROR) maybe because I’m partial to ER alums (jury is still out on Noah Wyle and Falling Skies but at least I’m still deliberating) but I think she’s spot on as Detective Jane Timoney. Aside from the added pressure of following in the great Helen Mirren’s footsteps as the original Jane Timoney, Mario seems to fit Mirren’s American Prada boots just fine.
Jane doesn’t not exactly have the best life - a squad that borderline hates her, a boyfriend with an inability to stand up to his nice-nasty ex-wife, a nasty smoking habit and a tendency to always go the rough way on her cases (in the first episode, she gets her tush handed to her by a suspect in a way I’ve much seen on TV).
Episode Four: Great Guy; Yet Dead has Jane suspecting the wife in a murder of a guy that everyone seemed to like. Not above stripping down to her gun and bra in a dressing room to interrogate the wife, Jane trudges through her life and her cases in a way that I think would make Columbo proud. She’s more purposeful yet still a bit haphazard which makes the show interesting.
I put this one on my shows to watch for the Fall and said that you could replace the entire cast and I wouldn’t mind (sorry Aiden Quinn) and I still sort of feel that way. There are few likeable cops on her squad but most spend their time trying to razz her, outsmart her or just fade into the desk job background. This is totally Jane’s show and everyone else seem to be supporting characters.
Unfortunately ratings don’t reflect this possible Law &Order contender which sucks because we tend to only find great shows once they’ve been cancelled (Arrested Development comes to mind). I could also say it sucks because I’d rather rock a fedora and the urban chic cop look than a bunny costume.
T. Tara Turk is a novelist/playwright/screenwriter, living in LA with her boyfriend and dog - all three successful TV addicts. You can find her at www.ttaraturk.com or follow her on Twitter @ttaraturk.