I want to like Rizzoli and Isles the summer police drama being offered by cable’s TNT, but I just can’t. The idea of a buddy relationship between women in the work world, while not new – I refer to Cagney and Lacey, is something I would like to see more often. I like to think it encourages girls to see the array of possibilities their futures can hold if they want them, but this show is just too dull and average to push this message.
The two leads characters have no chemistry and are defined by basic female stereotypes. Rizzoli played by Angie Harmon is a cop. She is a sport-loving tomboy, uninvolved in fashion, tough, and fiercely independent. Isles is a medical examiner; she is from a wealthy family, fashion-forward, very well-read and highly educated. Beyond that their characters are missing those little defining idiosyncrasies that make the difference between two and three dimensional characters. The lack of chemistry between the two actresses makes the buddy scenes pointlessly long and is a distraction from the weekly murder mystery. I like the two actresses; my favorite Law and Order reruns are still the one’s that feature Angie Harmon as Abby Carmichael.
The most interesting scenes involve the supporting cast. That brightest spot is Lorraine Bracco as Rizzoli’s mom Angela; her portrayal of a longtime supporter of a husband and children is full of warmth and humor. Rizzoli’s partner and former partner are played by Lee Thompson Young as Det. Barry Frost and Bruce McGill as Det. Vince Korsak respectively, the chemistry between these men and the two lead characters is, also, more entertaining than Harmon and Alexander. Another cop in the show is Jane Rizzoli’s brother Frankie played by Jordan Bridges; his character’s frequency in becoming part of his sister’s cases is starting to take on a resemblance to soap operas, something I hope the writers will try harder to avoid in the future.