Thursday, March 08, 2007

Raines: When It Raines, It Bores

Like Andy Barker, P.I., Raines isn't premiering until next week (Thursday the 15th at 10, if you were curious), but NBC has already made the pilot available online. So, being a good TV blogger, I decided to check it out early.

By now you probably know the premise from the previews – Detective Raines talks to imaginary murder victims. Unfortunately, the idea falls flat. Since the victims are figments of his imagination, they don't bring anything to the conversation. All they know is what he knows. "You tell me" seems to be the pilot victim's favorite phrase. She exists only as a sounding board for Raines to bounce his ideas off of, which begs the question: why not give him a partner? The fact is, he's got a great rapport with everyone else, particularly with his ex-partner. The two of them have a great patter going, almost Keith-and-Veronica level, but not quite. Raines should be riding around with him; I'd watch that show. But the victims? Not so much. Besides, I'm still kind of skeeved out by the way Raines spent half his time checking out the imaginary hot dead hooker.

And Jeff Goldblum, he tries so hard. I mean, he does do a good job. But the material doesn't hold up. The trend now is for abrasive, sarcastic characters РHouse, Shark Рand they're clearly trying to paint Raines the same way, but it just doesn't come across. When his ex-partner calls him a jerk, I go, "Buh?" Because yes, Raines is sarcastic, but he seems far too bored or blas̩ to be actively trying to antagonize anyone. Sure, there's the abusive husband, but it's okay to antagonize abusers and molesters on TV. In fact, it's encouraged. How do you think Elliot Stabler keeps his job? But I don't blame Jeff РI blame the writers for not cultivating Raines' jerkitude enough.

And then there's a Shocking Twist Ending! That is not at all shocking! Because we've all seen that one movie! In fact, I've probably given you all the information you need to figure out the Shocking Twist Ending, because it really is that obvious.


Liz said...

I really, really don't like Jeff Goldblum. And this show (from the previews) seems to exaggerate every annoying tic he has that I despise. So yeah, probably not for me.