Assessment on In Plain Sight, new TV series

Stay the hell away from this one.

USA has launched their answer to Saving Grace and The Closer, and it’s about as entertaining as something that’s been neatly coiled on your front lawn.

The protagonist plays the slut with a heart and in need of redemption. The episode they’ve got out is dotted with ‘meaningful’ monologues as she:

  1. Talks a bereaved father from hunting his son’s killer.

  2. Talks a new witness into accepting her new life in a third-rate motel room.

  3. Talks to a grieving mother down from shooting her scumbag husband.

  4. Talks her baby sister into coming out of her room to join in on the fun of her own birthday party.

Stupid see-through plot, equally as stupid characters, with quips they left on the shelf back in the eighties and a sound-track to match. Some three penis jokes, two breast jokes, and an awkward (not in the funny way) phone sex scene.

Sleazy, cheap, it’s like a B-list film offered up in a T.V. series format.

I rather liked this one, actually. The main character is interesting, and Mary McCormack portrays her with a mix of toughness, quirkiness, and moxie.

‘Meaningful monologues’ aside, the first episode is really just a snapshot/setup to show the protagonist’s continuing struggle to juggle her job and people under her care (and the impression given that she genuinely does care about them despite trying to keep a level of detachment) with all the other problems with her family and personal life.

A bit like Emily Deschanel’s Temperance Brennan from “Bones”, you get the impression that McCormack’s character lacks a certain degree of social sense but doesn’t really give a damn as long as she gets the job done.

After the first episode, I think it’s worth at least a couple more episodes to see how it develops.

If they have more episodes that feature content similar to:

  1. Mary post-coital, naked, sweaty.

  2. Mary faking lesbian phone sex.

…I’m there.

From what I’ve heard, the pilot is pretty weak but the show improves further in. I recorded it but haven’t watched yet.

The writing was only average, but I think the directing in the pilot was pretty inept. There were several quasi-comedy lines that flopped only because the timing was way off. There were a number of other areas where awkwardness ensued again because of the actors’ poor timing. A little better direction would have helped.

Still, I hope the writing improves. I’m giving it two more episodes.

Also: do we need yet another cop-like character with family issues (see: Burn Notice)?

In all honesty, the only place where I’ve seen worse writing in television that I’d even think about watching was in a recent episode of L&O:SVU. That particular one they searched for a woman kidnapped by a cyberstalker from Secon Li^H^H^H^H^H^H^H Another Universe. It’s twice as bad as it sounds, and it’s only slightly beneath this episode of In Plain Sight.

Maybe I’ve been spoiled by things like The Wire, but this series struck me as narratively and conceptually shitty 3rd rate material. Mary (I liked her in West Wing, by the by) might’ve properly and attractively portrayed the character that she was given, but come the fuck on. How many heart-to-hearts can you really stuff into an episode before it becomes a self-help infomercial?

Monk and Psych! are better schlocky, guilty pleasures, whereas this series just has the sex appeal of the actress to go on.

If there is a concensus that the series improves dramatically after this little miscarriage of entertainment, I (As Mighty and as Relevant as I Am) will reconsider (because I am just that magnanimous). Until then, the viewers are equally served by muted side-boob softporn.

I watched half and turned it off. I felt like some of the dialog was taken from rejected Veronica Mars scripts and then given to actors who couldn’t pull it off anyway. The dramatic moments were mostly a string of cliches.

The Closer blows this away.

Um, how did they work that into the plot?

And how far into the ep is it, so I can find it without watching the whole thing?

Luring a mobster out of hiding over the phone. Can’t remember the timestamp. By them my brains had settled into a thin slush.

Now, I’ll admit that the show isn’t precisely great, but comparing it to the other stuff on television right now during the in-between season, it’s at least good enough for me to record it to have it on when I’m not playing games. The setup does have a sort of Burn Notice: Marshals Edition feel, but the actors are occasionally wooden, the timing is frequently off, the writing isn’t the best I’ve ever heard, and they tried to stuff about three too many things into the premiere.

Since I’m used to processing upwards of twenty hours of television a week, I’ll record it, but I wouldn’t call it amazing programming, even for USA.

Tried watching this last night. Ugh. The writing was terrible. I honestly think the main actors are not that bad (I’ve seen them do much better jobs in other shows) but they’re simply not given dialog that can be delivered in any realistic fashion and it comes through as awkward at best. The phone sex thing was so obviously contrived that it fell completely flat. It doesn’t help that the pilot suffers from script schizophrenia, never really focusing on any one plot point for more than 10 seconds.

I’m willing to give this another shot since I’ve heard the pilot is far worse than the rest of the episodes and there isn’t much else on right now. If it doesn’t show marked improvement soon though it’ll be back to the long wait for the return of Burn Notice.

I’m only keeping it on the Tivo because a couple of critics have said it improves in episode 2 and 3. Also, maybe I misunderstood, but on Howard Stern last week McCormack said they’d taken 10 months off between the pilot and the rest of the series for her to have a baby. So it’s possible a lot changed after the pilot.

I hated the pilot, the whole style and feel of the show did not grab me. I thought the characters were flat, and the way they interacted was dull. think i’ll stick to monk, psych and burn notice.

WestWing! Thats where she’s from. Been wondering what else I’d seen her in. I’ll echo others in that its well, meh. Typical cop show muck with the grrl power angle.

So, not sure if anyone is still watching this show, but they had a fun west wing reference when Allison Janey showed up and says that she also works at the white house frequently. Mary then makes a rude comment about Allison name dropping POTUS…

Eh. That show was in the middle part of my television career, right around college, so I didn’t catch that.

The show itself is…ehhhh. I don’t hate it, but I don’t think I’d remember to watch it every week if my schedule were more crowded. Same goes for Law and Order USA Edition this season.

I watch it if I catch it, but only because of Mary.