RIZZOLI & ISLES Pilot Episode Early Review

Rizzoli & Isles

I had an opportunity to take an early look at the pilot episode for TNT’s new original series, RIZZOLI & ISLES, which premieres on Monday, July 12, at 10 p.m. (ET/PT) and I wanted to share an early review on the show.

Here is TNT’s official summary on Rizzoli & Isles:

RIZZOLI & ISLES follows Boston detective Jane Rizzoli (Harmon) and medical examiner Maura Isles (Sasha Alexander), complete opposites and good friends who solve crimes and bust some of Boston’s most notorious criminals. Growing up at opposite ends of the economic spectrum, the two remain strikingly different from one another in many ways.

Jane, the only female detective in Boston’s homicide division, is a tough and gutsy cop who doesn’t let her guard down (except with Maura), dodges her overprotective mother and is better at basketball than her brother. Maura, meanwhile, is usually more comfortable among the dead than the living. She is always impeccably dressed in designer duds with a steady, sometimes icy temperament. And she is working on curbing her tendency to diagnose the people she meets – including her first dates.

Jane and Maura often find themselves working together as both use their brilliant minds and expertise to figure out the “who done it” as well as the “how done it” of Boston’s most complex cases.

Well after watching Rizzoli & Isles‘ pilot episode, I have to say that this official description is a bit misleading. I was expecting to watch an engaging duo of crack investigators taking on tough and complex cases and solving them in an original way. What I got instead was one of the most unoriginal and boring procedural episode that TNT has ever greenlighted.

The story in the pilot episode was extremely predictable as we are treated to a gruesome yet very unoriginal crime that is masterminded by some evil clown who has had a previous encounter with Rizzoli. This storyline has been done so many times in so many other procedurals that I am surprised it made it in the pilot episode. This came off more as a filler episode that you find in a seasoned show and not in a new show that hasn’t found its audience yet.

Unfortunately, the lead characters aren’t fairing any better. Yes, we get to see that Rizzoli & Isles are indeed friends and also opposites; however their chemistry is not very apparent in the pilot, and we don’t really understand why these two are friends to begin with. Plus the pilot episode was very centered on Rizzoli and we had very little screen time with Isles. Quite frankly, based on the pilot alone, the show should be called “Rizzoli & Sometime Isles“. Now please bear in mind that I say this being a very big fan of both actresses and in particular of Sasha Alexander who was absolutely brilliant in NCIS. However, my love for these two actresses could not save them from being just too dull and boring to watch.

Ultimately, based on the pilot episode , there are two things that can be done to make Rizzoli & Isles go from a must watch show. The first thing is strengthening the chemistry between the two main characters; without that, what’s the point of calling the show Rizzoli & Isles? The second aspect to correct is coming up with more intriguing crimes to solve; if the viewer has seen it before on another show, then it has no place on this one.

Now, I don’t want to put you off from watching the show. After all, fellow TV Bloggers over at Small Screen Scoop and TVaholic liked the show so there may be an audience for this. Furthermore, I am personally ready to give Rizzoli & Isles a couple more episodes before making a final decision on its fate. If it turns out that this show is better than I expected, I will gladly give it the thumbs up as I previously did for Warehouse 13.

So don’t forget to tune in Monday, July 12, at 10 p.m. (ET/PT) for the premiere episode of Rizzoli & Isles to make up your own mind. When you do, let me know what you thought of it by leaving a comment below.