Murder In The First (PREVIEW)

Murder in the First

Regular Air Date: 
Monday @ 10/9c
Air Date: 
Monday, June 9, 2014
Murder In The First is a new show set to air on Network TNT and was created by acclaimed Producer Steven Bochco (Hill Street Blues, NYPD Blue) and new comer Eric Lodal. 
The series follows Terry English (Taye Diggs; Private Practice) and Hildy Mulligan (Kathleen Robertson; Boss), two SFPD detectives trying to solve two murders which end up merging together and giving them a suspect in Silicone Valley icon Eric Blunt (Tom Felton; Rise of the Planet Of The Apes, Harry Potter). 
The series follows the one case for the season, a 10 episode stretch, and brings several familiar faces into the fold to raise the bar. Stars include James Cromwell (L.A. Confidential), Steven Weber (Wings, Dallas), Richard Schiff (The West Wing), Nicole Ari Parker (Revolution), Raphael Sbarge (Once Upon A Time), Lombardo Boyar (NYPD Blue), and Ian Anthony Dale (Hawaii Five-O). 
My first impression of the show was a little shaky. I wasn’t familiar with Kathleen Robertson, I’ve never really been a huge Taye Diggs fan, and Tom Felton has really only begun to create much of a buzz as a working adult actor. Be that as it may I couldn’t help but find the combination of actors in this show absolutely compelling. Everyone in the show has great chemistry that makes you forget at times that you aren’t following something completely organic. 
The show gives you the case as well as delves into the private lives of the detectives and suspects. Diggs begins his character appearance caring for his terminally ill wife which makes him a ticking time bomb of sorts. Meanwhile Hildy is a single Mom who has to balance work life with home life which is interesting because her relationship with her young daughter (Mimi Kirkland; Safe Haven) is oddly sophisticated yet sweet. As the show moves on their lives open up more and more, as well as the lives of their co-workers. Every new revelation (even in this too short 3 episode arc I was allowed to review) creates more of a sense of believability in every character across the board. 
To my surprise Tom Felton is excellent in the series. He seems to be channeling a young Edward Norton in his character of Edward Blunt. Kathleen Robertson is instantly likable for several reasons. The first is that, unlike most cop dramas that feature women detectives, Hildy isn’t written in as a tough as nails bad-ass. Secondly Robertson doesn’t portray her, like so many actresses tend to do with female detectives, as just another one of the guys. She isn’t overly manly, yet not too fragile. She can be a tough rule bender, but she also maintains that motherly quality that balances the character out extremely well. The same goes for Diggs. His character could be explosive and unpredictable considering his situation and the stereotype written into so many broken cops Hollywood has offered up. Instead the character is approached as coping, the possibility for explosion is still in the cards, but Diggs’ character can be charming, funny, but also have that edge to it that keeps the character well balanced. 
Overall I think this series is going to do well. By the end of the third episode on the screener I was a bit let down there wasn’t just one more. It pulls you in, makes you root for the good guys and question the bad guys. Did they do it or was it someone else we either haven’t been introduced to or who has been under our noses the whole time? Every character is powerfully delivered and the story is compelling. I’m looking forward to catching the rest of the series when it airs. I highly suggest checking it out. 
AJ Garcia
Review by AJ Garcia
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