Tuesday, June 24, 2008

TV EYE:Yet Another Tough Blonde

USA has had some well deserved success with its fleet of character-driven and semi-comic procedurals, Monk, Psych, and Burn Notice, yet the new kid on the block, In Plain Sight (Sunday, 10:00 PM), seems to owe as much to TNT’s two slightly more dramatic entries, The Closer and Saving Grace. Mary McCormick (The West Wing) gets the showcase role already delineated by Kyra Sedgwick and Holly Hunter in the aforementioned cable nuggets—the tougher-than-nails top cop who is as bad at real life as she is good at her cop job. Set in pleasingly photogenic New Mexico with the fetching but tough McCormick as a US marshal with the witness protection program surrounded by an eyebrow-arching partner (Frederick Weller), a simpering, tongue-tied boss (Paul Ben-Victor), a sensitive to-die-for Latino boyfriend (Cristian de la Fuente) a preening drama queen sister (Nichole Hiltz), and pickled cougar of a mom (Leslie Ann Warren). The crime-of-the-week in the three shows rolled out so far is well beneath engaging, and the idiosyncratic supporting cast (with the exception of the silky smooth Weller) more irritating than interesting, the end result being more desultory than bright, yet there still remains something better-than-average at its core.

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