The network fall television season is underway. I know this because NBC gave us a special sneak preview of its most heralded show this season, the Debra Messing vehicle, The Mysteries of Laura. I cannot deny that I have been chomping at the bit for the premiere of this show since I saw the "hilarious" poster all over Los Angeles and then New York City with the brilliant catch phrase, "Catching bad guys, Raising naughty ones." The discerningly thought-out poster has Messing standing spread out wearing a green sweater, blue jeans and a Peter Falk as Colombo-esque coat with her badge (I said "badge" not the "v" shortened lady part word that sounds similar) and gun hanging off her belt. On the left side she's cuffing a hardened criminal, and, since she works as a homicide detective, I assume it's a murderer. On the right side she's channeling an Adrian Peterson move by choking her two kids by grabbing their hoodies while her beautiful, ginger, freshly-washed and styled hair caresses over her shoulders. Because, as all of you working mothers know, there's always time for hair styling before taking your kids to school and then solving a murder at the office.
We all know the show is going to be horrid. The only question is, how horrid and would they even try to make it non-horrid (if that's even a word). Yes, I may be a snob from New York City who hasn't been to the Midwest very much, but I find it hard to believe that someone from Kansas is driving past that poster saying, "There it is: My new favorite show for the season. Now I finally have something to replace Law & Order with when it goes off the air."
The pilot opens with a high speed car chase. The other cops or detectives on the force are obviously bozos, they can't catch anyone. Messing's character, Detective Laura Diamond, has been clearly waiting on the block all afternoon as if she knew this crazed gunman in the car was going to take this route. She states calmly on the radio, "I see him." The other cops are yelling at her on the radio, "Don't you do it, Diamond!" Or something like that, who cares. You know what I'm talking about. The gunman is on foot now racing through the park. She is calmly walking behind him talking on the radio to her back-up saying, "why are all these people in the park, don't they have jobs?" She is obviously a badass cop that doesn't play by the rules. So here we are. This is the part in the show where I'm taking all the nonsense, all the sarcasm, all the negativity and giving it an actual chance. Maybe I'm wrong. I love television. Maybe I've made a horrible mistake. In my head I am thinking, maybe she's going to calmly trip him as he runs by because he would never mistake Diamond for a detective. Maybe she takes off her coat and she towel snaps him in the butt, and he's so confused he drops his gun and confesses everything. Maybe -- I'm an idiot. "Freeze, you're under arrest!" It's every other show. She holds out her gun long enough for the gunman to take a hostage, then she tells the gunman to drop his gun and counts down from three. The gunman was obviously on crack or meth. Counting down in real life would be the worst idea ever. Then she shoots the gunman in the ear or something, and that's it. Her colleagues come over conveniently, immediately after and say, "Damn it, Diamond. You just don't play by the rules, do you?" I'm making up the dialogue but again, who cares? It's that, and you know I'm not lying. The whole show is exactly what I thought it was only two minutes in. Brilliant.
I saw Debra Messing on The Today Show talking about how much she loved the script. What script was she reading? Matt Lauer asked her if her character in TMOL was the same as Grace Adler in Will & Grace. She didn't deny it. So, what we have here is someone's idea to put, let's say, Jennifer Aniston's Rachel character from Friends as a tough nosed detective in the homicide department of the New York City police force acting like Rachel Green. Oh, who am I kidding, if I was the head of the network, I probably would have green lighted that myself.
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