Prime Suspect Review: Series Premiere

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There is one thing that kept the series premiere of Prime Suspect from descending into mediocrity: Maria Bello.

Never before have I watched someone who wanted something so badly. Bello, as Jane Timoney, is able to keep up with the boys and beat them at their own game of being a detective in New York City.

Jane and Luisito

While the “Beef Trust” is content to sit around, only going after the suspects that seem guilty and spending the rest of their time drinking and keeping Jane off lead detective work, Jane is dedicated to being an actual detective, even after one of their own died of a heart attack.

And that is what keeps Prime Suspect from being just another show about women being held down in a traditionally male-dominated field.

The Beef Trust doesn’t have a problem with women coming in and being detectives, they have a problem with Jane, specifically because they believe she slept her way to the top.

What sets Timoney apart from most procedural heroines - and something that will probably help her eventually win over the force and audiences alike - is she really does feel like one of the guys. There’s no gung-ho, overly earnest optimism here. Jane is a dark character, filled with bright spots of dark humor and crudeness. She is interested in doing her job well and going over every angle, not closing the case as quickly as possible and getting a beer with the fellas after work.

Another trait that sets Jane apart is how her personality doesn’t flip a switch when she gets home. This isn't someone who suddenly become the stereotypical happy homemaker when she sets foot in her house or is around children.

Jane doesn’t have a problem checking into her boyfriend’s ex and her new husband’s past as leverage to get his son to spend some nights with them, nor does she have a problem showing a traumatized child her gun if it means more information about her case.

The final act perfectly encapsulates who Jane is. No matter what the cost or consequence... she is going to do her job, even if that means chasing a suspect and getting into an absolutely ruthless, dirty fight. Nothing knocks her down for long and no one will stand in her way, even if it means getting tackled and punched in the face.

While the episode's case of the week felt rather generic, and the other characters need some definite story arcs besides being barriers to Jane, one thing is for certain: Maria Bello elevates Prime Suspect to must-watch status.

Review

Editor Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.1 / 5.0 (128 Votes)

Nick McHatton is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.

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When I first saw the promo to this show i thought it was going to be typical cop/crime/drama producal show but I was wrong I loved every minute of the first episode and i hope they continue to do well in the first season. THis is different to many other cops show cause It has Detective Jane Timoney working in an all guys group who stills case away from her because of what they think she did and how she got to the top of the ladder so to speak. But I could see towards the end of the episode the guys were really starting to see who she was and why she got the job and not how they thought she was.

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What was the song they used in the opening credits?

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GREAT show! Everything said above is true, and the writing and characters also ring true. No glitzy Miami Vice crap cop-video - but real drama filmed in NYC. 5 Stars and both thumbs up!

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You may be mistaken. The guys, while a little over the top, certainly do have a trouble with a woman butting into their boy's club. The easy rumors that she slept her way to the top are only a symptom of this. It's institutionalized sexism, and it's endemic pretty much everywhere, even in the modern day.

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Wow! Amazing show! I love it already and can't wait to watch again next week!!!

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Watched the premier tonight, wasn't going to as how many cop/crime shows are there? But I did and loved it! Her having to deal with the whole macho work thing,,and her attitude about staying focused and getting the job done, she's a great actress! I will definitely watch it again.

Prime Suspect Season 1 Episode 1 Quotes

You want it to be as scary as it can be.

Jane

Caleb: I would kill him with this.
Jane: I would help you.

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