Last night, TNT premiered King & Maxwell, the show about two fast-talking, crime-solving, might-be-in-love-with-each-other detectives. It stars Jon Tenney and Rebecca Romijn as Sean King and Michelle Maxwell, respectively. The two of them have really awesome onscreen chemistry, which I suspect means that they are together in real life. Hell, let’s just say that they are both real-life private investigators and this show is a docudrama about their everyday lives because, you know, chemistry between actors always has much more serious implications. The show also sets itself up to have interesting stories to come, by having King also be a skilled lawyer and Maxwell being hot and manipulative. This story was practically made for cable television!
Actually, it feels like this story already *happened* on cable television. If you changed a few minor details or just spun around while blindfolded and then sat down to watch this show, it could totally be mistaken for any one of the following:
1. Law & Order: SVU
Full disclosure: King and Maxwell don’t deal with sexual crimes at all and are more into crimes that involve shady rich people. And although King and Maxwell take themselves less seriously than do our beloved Stabler and Benson, their overall level of bro-ness is still the same. After just one episode, you know that one would definitely take a bullet for the other if it came to that and I can appreciate that. However, none of this means that I can just forgive the fact that Stabler is gone from SVU and just fall in love with another will-they-won’t-they investigator duo all willy-nilly.
2. Rizzoli & Isles
Not only do these shows share a network and a name template (seriously, creators of crime shows, there are other possible show titles than the names of the two lead detectives, separated by “&”), they also share characters. Well, okay, not literally. But who needs a literal meaning when you’ve got good old fashioned exaggeration? Not this gal! Anyway, the moods of these two shows are made identical by their characters joking during otherwise serious situations, leaving you wondering how they can be funny at such stressful times. But, of course, I mean “cable TV funny,” not “I need to change my pants” funny. Yes, that was a joke about pee. Yes, I am 7 years old.
3. Law & Order: Criminal Intent
I’m going to go ahead and guess that roughly 12.5 seconds into this show, you’ll guess what’s going to happen in the episode, just like in Criminal Intent. They follow the same formula: crime happens, clues are gathered, and immediately the tousled-haired and bearded male lead uses his really smart brain to put all of the pieces together. The only credit to this show is that even though all of that does happen, they still squeeze in a plot twist in the last few minutes of the episode. So, you know, like teasing someone with a cookie and then snatching it away and eating it yourself. People love that, don’t they?
4. Scooby Doo
This comparison was really too good to pass up because the storyline reads just like a Saturday morning episode (R.I.P ’96) of Scooby Doo. Maybe that’s the point and all of our current TV shows are just live-action versions of Saturday morning cartoons. *Sigh,* in a perfect world, I suppose. Since King and Maxwell are private investigators and are technically not police officers, their so-called crime solving is actually just meddling. But, just like the Mystery Gang, they end up finding all of the answers and getting the satisfaction of ripping the bad guy’s mask off (there are both literal and physical masks in this episode, yay!)
5. Any Other Crime Show You Can Think Of
I’m sure you can see where this is going. All I’m saying is that changing small details about a show doesn’t make it a different show. If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, then, yes, it probably is a duck but why are you asking about ducks right now? Stay focused! I’m talking about the fact that I actually exhausted myself finding similarities between this show and shows that already exist. I mean, it isn’t like I’m going to become infuriated and start Hulk-smashing things if I flip by this on TV but that’s exactly it: I’m probably going to flip right by it. We (people who watch too much television, that is) have all been there, done that, gotten a t-shirt, sold the t-shirt on Ebay and are sick of thinking about that freaking t-shirt. I just want some new, creative, and interesting
t-shirts shows already.