Thursday, September 18, 2014

The Mysteries of Laura - Pilot

Wow, I have to wonder how bad were the pilots NBC decided to pass on? Despite a likable star in Debra Messing and the surprise of Enrico Colantoni in a guest role as the main character's superior officer, the "Pilot" episode of NBC's adaptation of the Spanish television series Los misterios de Laura is awkward in its best moments (which are few and far between). Messing stars as recently separated single mom and Homicide Detective Laura Diamond who apparently will juggle the stress of a cliched version of motherhood involving terror twins (Charles Reina, Vincent Reina) and a doofus husband (Josh Lucas) while attempting to solve the murder of the week.

Ignoring the odd tonal shifts, a poorly-used supporting cast, and questionable dialogue, the plot of the first episode involves Diamond working with her Captain (Colantoni) and another officer (Laz Alonso) to solve a murder while dealing with the disdain of a by-the-book officer (Janina Gavankar), her children being expelled from preschool, and her separated husband's casual disinterest with pretty much every aspect of his life on-screen.

Over the years NBC has had success with more straightforward cop dramas while leaving the more offbeat kinds of shows for USA Network. That system has worked well allowing NBC to produce about a billion Law & Order shows while giving USA the opportunity to see shows like Monk and Psych flourish in a less pressurized environment. Despite the fact I've often suggested NBC's best shows were all on USA. However Laura makes a strong argument why they should stay there.

It's possible that the show may have begun with the best intentions and may have even made a reasonably passable show. Whether it be network interference or a series of bad choices from producers, writers, and cast, the results are almost hypnotically terrible. I honestly couldn't believe this ever made it to air. It's as if you're watching a poorly-produced parody of any number of cobbled together police procedurals that couldn't find the punchline if it was getting jabbed directly in the face.

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