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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

PILOT REVIEW: The Mysteries of Laura

THE MYSTERIES OF LAURA


















Starring: Debra Messing, Josh Lucas, Laz Alonso, Janina Gavankar

Based on "Los Misterios de Laura" by Carlos Vila
Developed by Jeff Rake, Carlos Vila, and Javier Holgado
Written by Jeff Rake, Directed by McG

THE PREMISE: Laura Diamond (Debra Messing) is a star NYPD detective whose life is more than a bit frazzled as she is also a single mother to terror twin boys. She has to balance her stressful work and home lives and deal with estranged husband Jake Broderick (Josh Lucas). Rounding out the main cast is her partner, Billy Soto (Laz Alonso) and a bit of an adversary in the precinct, Meredith Bose (Janina Gavankar).

THE GOOD: This show is all about Debra Messing, it's clearly a vehicle for her and that's probably one reason there's so much comedy involved. The good news is there are times where Messing overcomes the mediocre material and really commands a scene. If the quality improves, she has the chops to be a strong leading lady. If I'm going to compare this show in a favorable way, it might be to Monk, with its mix of comedy and drama...

THE BAD: ... however, it doesn't have the whimsical feel that Monk had and made the lightheartedness among murders so effective. One major problem with The Mysteries of Laura is its lack of a consistent tone. There can be a mix of comedy and drama for sure, but it's a balancing act that this show has not mastered by any means. There was nothing new brought to the crime side of the show and the lightheartedness wasn't all that funny or enjoyable. The acting outside of Messing was pretty forgettable, especially from Josh Lucas. I'm usually willing to suspend disbelief on certain issues but there was a major head-scratcher here towards the end when the captain gave Laura and Billy a day before making an arrest on a "closed case." Already implausible and if you know the twist ending, it's especially implausible. Finally this isn't the show's fault but NBC basically gave away the entire episode with its promos. Certain things like the revelation of meeting her children for the first time covered in paint would have had a lot more humor if I hadn't seen it a million times all summer.

BOTTOM LINE: I just don't see this show fitting with the much more gritty and dark Law & Order: SVU and Chicago PD on Wednesday nights. Messing is a big name but she's not strong enough to overcome mundane material. Either this show is going to improve fast or it's going to disappear fast. I'm betting on the latter but we'll see.

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