Archive for Monday, July 12, 2010

Dull duo miscast on TNT’s ’Rizzoli & Isles’

July 12, 2010

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Take a buddy cop drama, throw in a touch of class and ethnic tension and cast two attractive women, and you have “Rizzoli & Isles” (9 p.m., TNT), a formulaic show without much of a pulse.

Angie Harmon (“Law & Order”) is seriously miscast as Jane Rizzoli, the feisty South Boston Italian tomboy homicide cop. Scenes of emotional volatility are not her strength.

Jane’s new partner, Barry (Lee Thompson Young), can’t survey a crime scene without getting sick, so she bounces ideas off her gruff and avuncular former partner, Vince (Bruce McGill).

But when she really needs to let her long hair down, she kicks back with medical examiner Maura Isles (Sasha Alexander). If Jane is supposed to be fire, Isles is all ice. Her only pet is a giant tortoise. If Maura has a personality, it’s not readily apparent. It’s unclear why Jane likes her, and their shared scenes and “slumber party” banter are forced when they’re not weird.

As if to distract from all this nonchemistry, a sadistic killer arrives from out of Jane’s past. Any similarities between Jane’s past and “Silence of the Lambs” is strictly intentional. It would take more than Hannibal Lecter to spark interest in “Rizzoli & Isles,” a show that might be better titled “Dull & Duller.”

“Rizzoli” follows the sixth-season opener of “The Closer” (8 p.m., TNT).

• “Turmoil & Triumph: The George Shultz Years” (9 p.m., PBS, check local listings) profiles Ronald Reagan’s secretary of State, with a special emphasis on his efforts at nuclear arms control. “Shultz” airs over the next three consecutive Monday nights.

• The 10-episode “NICU” (9 p.m., Discovery Health) documents work at a top neonatal clinic. Part of the network’s “Baby Week” series of programming.

Tonight’s other highlights

• A paralyzed victim speaks with his eyes on “Lie to Me” (7 p.m., Fox).

• The second season of “Mad Men” (7 p.m. through 6 a.m., AMC) unfolds in marathon fashion.

• MLB All-Stars participate in the annual Home Run Derby (7 p.m., ESPN).

• “Samantha Brown’s Asia” (7 p.m., Travel) begins an eight-episode voyage with Hong Kong and Macau.

• A cold cased defrosted on “Good Guys” (8 p.m., Fox).

• Friendly competition on “Huge” (8 p.m., Family).

• “History Detectives” (8 p.m., PBS, check local listings) looks at disfigured statue of Old Hickory.

• “A Small Act” (8 p.m., HBO) documents a Swedish pre-school teacher whose monthly donations changed so many lives.

• “Rob Dyrdek’s Fantasy Factory” (8:30 p.m., MTV) enters its third season with a skateboard car.

• “Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations” (9 p.m., Travel) visits America’s Midwest.

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