Rizzoli & Isles: Season 1
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Tough & smart. Edgy & humorous. Rizzoli & Isles. Angie Harmon and Sasha Alexander star as combative, working-class Boston detective Jane Rizzoli and cool, cerebral medical examiner Dr. Maura Isles in an exciting police procedural with a compelling point of view, based on the bestselling novels by Tess Gerritsen. The two women have each other's backs as they investigate their city’s grittiest and most puzzling homicides, from the Back Bay to back alleys. The high-caliber supporting cast includes Lorraine Bracco (The Sopranos) as Jane’s overprotective mom. Some best friends shop together, some meet for Mojitos, some join book clubs. Rizzoli and Isles bust crime.
Talk about grrrl power! Rizzoli & Isles features the best two-woman crime-solving duo since Cagney & Lacey--supported by terrific writing and outside-the-box cases. Angie Harmon has never been better, as the tough Boston detective Jane Rizzoli. Her partner in crime (solving) is the equally impressive Sasha Alexander as Dr. Maura Isles, the by-the-books medical examiner who always has Rizzoli's back, but is often appalled at the cop's hard-charging tough-Boston-girl approach. Rizzoli & Isles is based on the series of popular mysteries by Tess Gerritsen, and adapted faithfully and engagingly for TV viewers. One thing that sets Rizzoli & Isles apart from the average police procedural is its crisp direction and subtle writing; even the most die-hard cop-show viewer will be engaged and surprised by the plots' twists and turns. And then there's the acting. Harmon has harnessed her dramatic chops and uses them perfectly as Rizzoli, and Alexander is both ideal sidekick and sometime foil as she tries to steer Rizzoli to follow the rules. The key in any double-starring series is chemistry, and Harmon and Alexander have it in spades--their sparring and intellectual one-upmanship are completely believable. The cases in season one are varied, though focus mostly on serial killers, with one particularly gripping case flashing back to the notorious Boston Strangler case. The first season of Rizzoli & Isles features two great behind-the-scenes features, one with series creator Janet Tamaro on how she adapted the Gerritsen books, and another with the cast and crew about the making of the series. There's also a hilarious gag reel that shows just how much fun everyone is really having on the set. A must for crime-show buffs and fans of great actresses heading their own series. --A.T. Hurley
Rizzoli & Isles: Chicks in a Bottle – Explore the Dynamics of One of TV’s Most Compelling Female Relationships Via Cast/Creator
Interviews and Behind-the-Scenes Footage
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The other title character, Maura Isles is played by Sasha Alexander. I found the Isles character to be a bit inconsistent and hard to relate to, and I am something of a science buff. But there is definitely room for growth with the character and hopefully that is what will happen in the next season. The supporting cast was, honestly, pretty forgettable but again there is the potential for character growth there. The writing was pretty good, although it did not vary much from the standard TV cop fare.
So all in all, I recommend this series just for the fun of watching a quite good performance by the gorgeous Angie Harmon. I plan to order the 2nd season in the hope that Harmon will continue her outstanding performances and the rest of the show's characters will grow on me.
The mysteries are fairly obvious, but it's still fun to see the plots unfold, even if you have figured out what is going on fairly early. Angie Harmon and Sasha Alexander have really great friendship chemistry and I think that might be what sells the show for me. I like watching them develop as characters and watching how they grow through their interactions with each other. The depth of the lead characters makes up for storylines that seem familiar if you have ever watched procedurals on t.v. before and supporting characters who can seem a little flat. A show celebrating two strong women with mutual respect professionally and personally and touching moments of support for each other is fairly unique and definitely satisfying!