Prime Suspect Review: Less Sexism, More to Love

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Surprisingly, "Bitch" had nothing to do with Jane.

That’s a little shocking, I know. But with the sexism toned down, there’s a whole lot more to love about this detective, the beef trust and the show in general.

Jane on the Run

It was nice to see Jane’s father, Desmond, and get insight into him and what he does. I just wish there was more of it because it ended up being a quick shot of the locals and then an immediate robbery.

Which leads me to my biggest gripe about the episode: Detective Rivera. Was her plot thread purposely left dangling or was there no closure to her case on purpose to illustrate a potential parallel to Jane? For the amount of screen time she had - and the numbers of questions and input she received from Jane - I wanted a little more. While I understand the initiative she possessed and how she wanted to learn from the female detective “with a reputation,” it would have been nice to see how all of it panned out.

Moving on to Jane’s case this week, it was a wonderful, tense ride from the first interrogation to the last. Malcolm just oozed creepiness. He was too perfect and the tears over his dead wife were just too over the top to count him out as innocent.

Plus, Jackson Hurst from Drop Dead Diva (no judging please, we’re all TV Fanatics here!) plays too nice of a guy on that show to give me any sort of reassurance he could play a murderer, even if he was supplied loud tools and music.

Seeing Jane work through the gut feeling all of us were having was a lot of fun to watch on screen. I know I’ve heaped praise on Maria Bello every single time I review Prime Suspect - but her performance every week is genuine, moving and inspiring.

Watching her walk through the murder scene with Duffy in the storage unit (that was such a cool crime scene) and her subsequent interrogation with Malcolm gave me chills. The way she was in his face and moving around that room and flipping her good cop/bad cop personality on a dime was such a powerful moment, I’m in awe of her.

Finally, with the beef trust firmly back in 2011, we got to enjoy Jane having a little fun with Luis the Kenyan and Average Auggie. Which is a much, much better way of interacting with your coworkers, especially with such a dark job (and show), there needs to be moments of humor and lightness.

Overall, I’m in love with Prime Suspect and Maria Bello. The roughness from the prior episode has been smoothed out, characters are starting come to the surface, and the cases are a welcome change from the typical run and gun procedural.

Other thoughts:

  • This week Jane chewed through four pieces of gum, no coffee, but at least she was drinking.
  • NBC’s promos and graphics are much easier on the eyes than the PowerPoint slide title card.
  • The scenes set at night in the office are so well done; the lighting is moody and gritty and really plays a fantastic role in the overall theme of the show.
  • The scene with Kevin telling Jane not to dismiss her gut feelings was amazing.

Review

Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
  • 4.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.7 / 5.0 (31 Votes)

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

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This is the best female lead show on right now and most believable (I am retired cop). I hope they hold to the action and do less on the marriage.

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It's interesting to read a review that offers a different perspective - I really hate this show. Everything about it is offensive, which is curious because I adored the books and the original series. Maria Bello's version of Jane is like a castrated misogynist dressed up in a woman's body. She seems to hate women every bit as much as her male colleagues. It is written like some kind of sexist throw-back which is rather odd considering it's set in the present. I think the writing would be suited to a "Life on Mars" type of historical procedural drama featuring the first female homicide detective in NYC, instead of a modern setting.

Nick m

Ravie, I realize he is an actor, and he's a good one at that. He plays Grayson very well, the character is full of heart, has depth, and soul. It's less about typecasting and more about recent memories of characters. It's not always easy switching gears, especially when it's been such a short amount of time since DDD aired its season finale. Those memories are why I was having trouble believing he was the murderer. If he had done it, the back of my mind would have been wrong and I'd say so in the review. I'm going to make a quick assumption and hope you've watched Cougar Town and Friends. If Courtney Cox had moved on right from Friends to Cougar Town would you be able to shake Monica out of your head instantly? Jules is entirely different from Monica, but most viewers would remember her as Monica. It takes time to shake perceptions of past characters, especially on TV shows, where the viewer has potentially had years to form a bond with old characters. I've known Grayson for three years, and I knew this character for about ten minutes. I'm glad you're enjoying Prime Suspect and it's working for you because it's working for me too. I'm also glad you called me out on that sentence because I should have explained the why behind it.

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"Plus, Jackson Hurst from Drop Dead Diva (no judging please, we’re all TV Fanatics here!) plays too nice of a guy on that show to give me any sort of reassurance he could play a murderer, even if he was supplied loud tools and music." I disagree with your above statement, Nick. Jackson Hurst is an ACTOR. What do you mean he plays too nice of a guy on Drop Dead Diva (DDD)to give you reassurance as a murder. If he had done this show first and then joined Drop Dead Diva as a lawyer, would you say he couldn't play a nice guy afterwards, if he really had been the murderer? You cannot limit actors and pigeon-hole them or typecast them. That's why some actors can't get work; some of you critics/viewers typecast them too much. By the way, I spent the rest of the episode, and then some, trying to remember who the actor was. I did not even make him out, even though I had seen his name in the TV credits. He looked like such a different person from DDD, which show I always watch, that it had to have been that he acted here well, that I did not make the connection with DDD. Prime Suspect is growing on me though. Seems that Maria and the cantankerous detective seem to be moving towards getting into a harmonious relationship. The show works for me.

Prime Suspect Season 1 Episode 3 Quotes

What is he, Kenyan?

Jane

Okay Average Auggie, let's see something completely mediocre.

Jane
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