Thursday, July 18, 2013

Watching summer crime TV for the characters: King and Maxwell

I love summer TV. Usually, the good scifi is on then, and TNT rocks the crime shows I like.

Sure, the plots aren't always the most complicated (I'll often spot the dunnit five minutes in), but it's fun. Someone usually chases a bad guy down a fire escape and into an alley. Or in a commercial kitchen, or a fruit stand at a market, sending apples rolling down the street.

This isn't to say I like cliches, but series crime shows can be comforting in their format. And I tune in for the characters anyway. So when this new show King and Maxwell came on, I started watching. But it took some time to get going. Sure, there was a good crime. But the characters weren't really coming to life for me. I haven't read the David Baldacci series it's based on, but I imagine the characters are good, or people wouldn't be reading the books, right?

I almost gave up on the show, when they threw in a supporting character: Edgar. He's different, interesting. Pleasantly weird. Much like Walter on Fringe, come to think of it. So I stuck around. A few episodes in, the other characters are getting a little better too. But Edgar does it for me.

Have you ever watched a TV show that had a strong supporting cast you stuck around for?
Seinfeld was another one I liked better for the nutty friends than Jerry (sorry, man...).


  1. I can't say how strong a supporting cast it had, but I have seen nearly every episode of EVERYBODY LOVES RAYMOND, especially for Peter Boyle and his wry humour. A good family entertainer. I liked SEINFELD though BECKER, with its assorted characters, was better. Ted Danson was a good actor-comedian. These days I'm watching THE BIG BANG THEORY and quite like it, particularly for Jim Parson's deadpan face and nasty lines. I don't watch serious TV. I tried GREY'S ANATOMY and found it depressing.

  2. Yes, we dropped Grey's Anatomy for that same reason.

    I love all the shows you mention for their characters. I think it's the almost over-the-top nature, and the great actors (like Ted Danson--many can carry a show). Some series also need a bit of time for the actors to get confident in their character (or the writers writing them?).

  3. I love Edgar. But you just made me realize why I only stop surfing the web or knitting or doing sudoku (yea, I still play) when he's on screen.

    I like the character of Michael Weston, but Sam, Fi and Maddy are my favorites on Burn Notice.

    Have you seen Motive? As I'm writing this I realize that I don't know either of the main characters names. Guess that says something about character building. I like her but he disappears.

  4. Yes, I watch MOTIVE too. Agree--she is more 'alive.' I think it's because they give us viewers a glimpse of backstory: her son, life off-duty. It doesn't have to be much, but a little gives a character dimension.

    I think they need more of that on KING AND MAXWELL. I feel like they go in a box when they're not on the case, and that's not good.

    Thinking of other crimey shows, CASTLE does a good job giving him a personal life.

    I'm taking this observation as a lesson in writing three-dimensional characters :-)

  5. So many shows have supporting characters that are more memorable. Jerry never could act at all, could he?

  6. He was terrible--painfully so. I remember watching the show in Holland, being unfamiliar with the guy's comedy name, wondering why they didn't just boot him off the show :-)

    I still use the "No soup for you" line. It's no longer cool, but I still think it's funny...