Fall 2007 TV: Women's Murder Club
Women's Murder Club (ABC)
I watched Women's Murder Club live, rather than taping it, so I've got to try to get this review down before it slips my mind. I will admit, the several Jack & Cokes I've had are contributing to my urgency, as they will also contribute to my total memory loss about the pilot if I wait too long. So this is going to be sloppy and unprofessional -- but hey, so was WMC! (Rim shot.)
First of all: kudos for being another show set in beautiful San Francisco that features actual location shots in beautiful San Francisco (like Journeyman), as opposed to a show set in beautiful San Francisco that features location shots in gloomy-but-I'm-sure-it-has-its-own-particular-charms-please-don't-get-bent-out-of-shape-Canadians Vancouver (Bionic Woman). Interesting side note: one of the "Club" members is a reporter for the fictional San Francisco Register, which is also the name of the fictional paper Dan works for on Journeyman! What's more, the same fake newspaper was also featured in both Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home and an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation. Weird.
WMC stars Angie Harmon as transsexual Lindsay Boxer, who works as a homicide detective for the SFPD. Wait... what? That's her actual speaking voice? Really? Oh.... Angie Harmon stars as a natural-born woman working as a homicide detective for the SFPD. (Lay off the cigarettes, Ang.) Laura Harris (Daisy on Dead Like Me, terrorist dupe Marie Warner on the second season of 24) is Assistant D.A. Jill Bernhardt (and I swear I did not know she was supposed to be a D.A. until I looked it up on the ABC site -- I thought she was another detective. Was that my bad, or did the show really not make that clear?). Paula Newsome (from... a bunch of stuff I don't remember her in) is Medical Examiner Claire Washburn. And Aubrey Dollar (from various crap) is Cindy Thomas, the Register reporter who will apparently be the fourth member of this unofficial club.
First disappointment: this isn't an actual club. I presumed, from the title, this would be a Star Chamber kind of thing, where the women would get together and solve crimes that had fallen through the cracks, and/or mete out their own personal brand of justice. You know, the usual. Instead, it's just a bunch of women who talk to each other every once in a while. Boring!
No, they just share information, and dish about one another's personal lives. I mostly enjoyed the cute conversations between the three main characters (the reporter is kind of tangential as of the pilot episode). They play off one another as though they were actual longtime friends, which is nice work. But whenever the script turns to relationships -- in the gal-pal conversations, or in actual face-to-face interactions with male romantic interests -- the whole show turns into a big pile of horseshit. Literally. (No, not literally. I'm still not drunk enough to commit the #1 grammatical crime on my list. Yes, I have a list of grammatical crimes. #2: the "non-ironic" "misuse" of "apostrophes." #3: they're, there, their, it's, its abuses.)
There's a crime, and some stuff happens, and Angie Harmon gets a dog, and, miraculously, her middle-aged black partner does not get tragically killed. It's all very pedestrian and predictable. The very final shot, in which the much-discussed "Kiss Me Not" killer strikes again, was a nice touch, establishing a season-long (or longer) mystery. But the crime-solving basics didn't grab me, nor did the "wait, it's a bunch of chicks trying to solve crimes, in between, let's say, getting mani-pedis and admiring bikini waxes on corpses and sleeping with ex-boyfriends on work desks and menstruating" gimmick. Six episodes and out, that's my prediction.
Rating: 4 out of 10