From: Channing ( filmtroll@sbcglobal.net)
Date: 19 Mar 2007

I watched the pilot of Raines and found it on par with standard TV police procedurals (like Law and Order) but nothing special. The opening scene is excellent using the famous Long Goodbye building but that's when the hard-boiled ends and the tedium begins. Goldblum takes some blame by toning down his usual manic performance to the point where he mumbles through most of the scenes. He's still an odd and interesting actor to watch but he hasn't found his comfort zone in the character yet.

The "seeing ghosts"/"figments of his imagination" gimmick is weak. The ghost acts as the typical "What's does that mean?" girl from TV mysteries (Monk's nurse on Monk, Vincent D'Onofrio's partner on L&O: Criminal Intent). The mystery is poor with suspects practically wearing "Red Herring" shirts. The culprit has a feeble motivation for the murders.

In a key "action" scene the suspect evades the police because of a poorly-timed trash truck blocking the alley. You'd think Los Angeles is the cleanest city in the world based on the number of times trash trucks thwart police from catching the criminals in action movies. Also the producers found it necessary to show Raines as a do-gooder so the mystery was short-changed to add an unnecessary 10 minutes of putting the ghost to rest plot.

The show is light on noir, even though it's trying so hard to be noir. Raines is a carbon copy "House" curmudgeon and doesn't face any whirlpools of despair or regret just yet. I don't know if the ratings are strong enough to keep this show around until it gets good. I'm probably going to check it out again to see if it gets funnier or more interesting after the pilot.


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