The network television “regular season” is over. Now it’s time for the Big 3 (NBC, CBS, ABC) to force their nonsensical shows on us in yet another feeble attempt to compete with the USA, TNT, and A&E summer lineups. Ridiculous reality shows, badly written dramas, and unfunny comedies will litter the landscape once again this summer.
So it was with serious trepidation that I set my DVR to record the 2-episode Series Premiere of Motive ( ABC Thursdays at 9 PM EST) this week. My first thought was, “Oy. ANOTHER cop show. And one that CLEARLY wasn’t good enough to make the fall lineup.” Even the premise, where we are shown both killer and victim at the beginning, and left to determine the WHY wasn’t making me do cartwheels. But, last night, I tuned in. And I sure am glad I did!
As soon as she uttered her first lines I was smitten with Detective Angie Flynn, played by Kristin Lehman. A veteran of several failed shows, as well as The Killing (booo!), I’ve always liked her. Not only do I enjoy her take-charge attitude at the crime scenes, but she also nails her lines beautifully. When she cracks wise it feels natural, not forced. Her back and forth with partner Det. Oscar Vega (Louis Ferreira) sounds believable, like they’ve been working together a long time.
Lauren Holly also shines in her role as Medical Examiner Dr. Betty Rogers, who has an unusual way of talking about the deceased. “I’d say he sprouted wings two to three hours ago” are things that routinely come from her, and they add some levity, without being crass.
The real attraction though is how, through flashbacks, other pieces of the puzzle are revealed bit by bit, until Angie finally gets her man/woman in the end. Getting there is half the fun for sure.
I thoroughly enjoyed watching Motive last night, and when it was over I found myself unable to concentrate on anything else, and wishing for more episodes right away. This show, and Kristin Lehman’s performance, really stayed with me. I’m definitely looking forward to the next 12 weeks. A very pleasant surprise to kick off the summer.