Sunday, May 26, 2013

Motive - Creeping Tom

It's unusual for a crime drama to reveal the killer and victim, but not the actual crime, in its opening sequence. The Canadian police procedural stars Kristin Lehman Detective Angela Flynn and Brendan Penny as Detective Brian Lucas who solve grisly murders in Vancouver every week. Who knew TV Canadians killed as often as TV Americans? In the show's opener Flynn and Lucas are called in to investigate the murder of a science teacher (Joey McIntyre) by a college kid (Tyler Johnston) who enjoy breaking into houses while their owners sleep with a friend (Iain Belcher).

The show is split into scenes watching the cops chase down false leads we know to be dead-ends and other scenes following the remorseful killer getting lucky at a band party while sharing in the loss of a favorite teacher with another student (Eva Allan). We also get scenes with Flynn talking to the medical examiner (Lauren Holly) and dealing with her teenage son (Cameron Bright) and his buxom young girlfriend (Allie Bertram).

Despite the set-up, where the show attempts to be a more unfocused new millennium version of Columbo, the characters themselves are all basic archetypes without any real personality of their own. Flynn is the brilliant observer who looks beyond the obvious while Lucas is the hard boiled cop looking only at the evidence in front of him. Despite having one suspect in custody for the crime, Flynn knows deep down that it's his friend who is the guilty party, even if she doesn't know why. The show comes to a close with the motive of the crime being revealed during a flashback sequence during the murderer's confession.

Despite the show's name, the first episode doesn't put the motive first and foremost and the show is pretty much a generic procedural with the exception of the audience knowing before the police who committed the crime. The idea of the motive being each episode's big reveal is a little odd and keeps our brilliant police detective fumbling around in the dark for longer than necessary. "Creeping Tom" doesn't offer much in the way of characters or story to sell me on the show's basic concept. It's a pilot episode so I expect it to be a little shaky, but I would also expect a glimmer of what the show might become given enough time. I may give it another try after a few episodes down the line to see if the show's creators ironed out some of the kinks.

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