Murder in the First premiered last night on TNT. It is a San Francisco based drama with long-time super producer/creator/writer of many award-winning TV series Steven Bochco at the helm. In case you’ve forgotten Bochco created Hill Street Blues, Doogie Howser, L.A. Law, Murder One, Brooklyn South, and NYPD Blue. And that’s just some of his most notable credits.
TNT describes the show:
Murder in the First follows homicide detectives Terry English (Taye Diggs) and Hildy Mulligan (Kathleen Robertson) as they investigate two seemingly unrelated murders. The mystery deepens, however, when they find both murders have a common denominator in a Silicon Valley wunderkind Erich Blunt (Tom Felton).
Robertson was great as the sexy Kitty O’Neill in the series Boss. Taye Diggs was noted for his work as Dr. Sam Bennett in Grey’s Anatomy and the spin-off Private Practice. Tom Felton you will recall as Draco Malfoy in the Harry Potter’s, as well as being an early victim of Caesar and friends in Rise of the Planet of the Apes.
Okay the set up:
Mulligan is a single divorced Mom homicide detective. English is her partner and a man whose wife is about to die of a terminal illness. They work the streets solving homicides while dealing with personal issues. So there’s no news on that front. Name a detective TV series these days and then surely the personal issues that define each of them come to mind. Homicide detectives and issues? Don’t they go hand in hand more often than not?
From another perspective – a single case series is not new at all. Most recently we had True Detectives, Broadchurch, and if you look back far enough, you’d discover the granddaddy of them all – Murder One which aired for two seasons back in the mid 90’s and was created by Mr. Bochco. For this series Bochco is sharing the credits with relative newbie Eric Lodal.
Okay, as I’ve only seen the pilot, I can’t go too deep into motives, clues, investigatory outcomes and the pursuits of justice. However in the pilot, we did not witness shots being fired but as Mulligan described the blood spatter on the wall as “some serious art work”, the show looks quite promising. For the record did we did not see any high-speed automobile chases (there was a brief chase on foot) and we did see a youngster who may have witnessed something as he was described as entering the site in the first murder , get very rattled. But I can tell you that Richard Schiff of West Wing is on board as Blunt’s in-house attorney, James Cromwell is an expensive defense attorney, and as you watch, some more familiar TV faces will pop up.
How about Anne-Marie Johnson who you might recall was Congresswoman Bobbi Latham in JAG. Or Peter Onorati who I recall from Cop Rock, Murder One, and NYPD Blue. To me this means they’ve got a pretty good cast as Bochco, whose last Series aired in 2008 can still attract some worthy actors.
Then there’s the location. Like the series from long ago called The Streets of San Francisco which starred Karl Malden and Michael Douglas, the movie Bullitt with Steve McQueen, and assorted Dirty Harry movies., the ever photogenic San Francisco still looks good.
Here’s what I think – I still have an appetite for police procedurals, and if we stray in to district attorney offices, court rooms, and judges chambers that’s fine with me. I’d expect we will also see some establishments where liquor is poured and served too.
From the looks of it, Murder in the First will be familiar, and that’s comforting. Since we’ve already seen the two vics, and we’ve already been introduced to two possible perps, I’d expect some shocking revelations aka twists to be forthcoming.
But I’m told that this case will wrap up at the end of the season. So two connected cases/one season/10 episodes is what you need to know. It looks like a nice diversion for Monday night now that The Blacklist has departed. So give it a try. Check out the trailer:
And I think besides this one, I’ll have plenty on my plate. With Graceland Season Two which begins on Wednesday on the USA Network, and The Bridge Season Two which begins on FX just around the corner on July 9th, the summer season looks promising.