Friday, May 24, 2013

Pilot Review: Motive

Motive (ABC)
Premiered May 20 at 10pm

It should come as no surprise that one of ABC’s new series slated for this summer is actually a Canadian show that already aired in its home country. ABC has done this before, with “Rookie Blue,” and other networks have tried it recently with the likes of “Flashpoint,” “The Listener,” and “Merlin,” to name a few. This one comes with a few familiar TV faces attached. Kristin Lehman, who appeared in short-lived series “Killer Instinct” and “Drive,” was most recently seen on AMC’s “The Killing,” and while that initially cancelled show was ultimately revived, her character won’t be returning with it. Lauren Holly will be familiar to fans of “NCIS” as Director Jenny Shepard, and Roger Cross was once part of the phenomenon that is “24.” This show is a standard cop show, with a title and angle that seems to suggest that its cases are approached from an unconventional perch, though that’s hardly the case. This shouldn’t be thought of as a successor to “Boomtown,” with its unconventional take on a police procedural. It may be that the plotline selected for the pilot just wasn’t engaging at all, but identifying the killer at the start but saving the not-so-juicy reason for his crime only served to draw out a dull hour. There’s also nothing particularly fascinating about Lehman’s Detective Angie Flynn, which makes this akin to a less gloomy “Profiler.” There’s nothing original or inventive about this show, and nothing about the pilot makes a case for tuning in for the second installment.

How will work as a series? Presumably the show will move on to some more complicated crimes that don’t involve one isolated event and a kid who wants to stay invisible as the sole motive for a murder. There might be some romantic drama between Flynn and her partner, and some family teenager issues with her son. We’ve seen all of that before.
How long will it last? The show was renewed by its Canadian network, CTV, for a second season several weeks ago. The best case scenario is that ABC decides to air the show every summer after its seasons finish in Canada, but there’s no way that it’s going to be a part of ABC’s crowded regular schedule. We’ll have to see how the show fares in its regular timeslot on Thursday nights.

Pilot grade: C-

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