Gay Girl’s Goggles: “Prime Suspect” SnapCap (1.05)

When only four percent of scripted TV shows feature LGBT characters, what’s a gay girl to do? Why, strap on your gay goggles and watch TV along with us, of course! Our handy appraisal scale is better than any old letter grade. Other sites A+. We say, “What about our lezzy-lady feelings?”

Hello, new title sequence — though I’m not sure I like it just yet. It’s pretty generic for a crime drama that strives to be the opposite. This isn’t your standard-issue cop show, so why give it a standard-issue opening theme? I actually enjoyed the minimalism of the previous non-theme. It fit with the show’s no nonsense style.

Still, that’s a small grumble compared to the cracking good episode delivered last night. This show which seems to be growing stronger as the season goes on. We’re getting more layers from the other detectives, we’re getting more layers from Jane. And last night’s case of a murdered girl found in a park hit a lot of complicated bases – race politics, sexual politics, office politics, family politics and even a little witchcraft.

AFTERELLEN BAIT

Maria Bello did an interesting interview with NY Magazine about Det. Jane Timoney’s style. She said she had a big hand in forming Jane’s look, saying “I had a really particular way of wanting to dress, which was Katharine Hepburn, but a modernized version of her. And I didn’t want to do anything with my hair, with my makeup, you know? I just wanted it to be really, really simple.” And you know what, I think she nailed it. I’ve been trying to figure out Jane’s style for a while now, and it’s more than just female cop gear. It’s got attitude, but still practical. And Jane’s jacket with its two-toned lapel and elbow patches, that was pure Hepburn.

FEELINGS, FEELINGS, FEELINGS

Do you know what helps make this show is good? It’s funny. The thing with the curse on Reg? Come on, that was great. Even a raw, gritty show can throw in humor and make it work. You know why? Because that’s life. Sometimes it’s serious, sometimes it’s funny – sometimes it’s both at the same time. And that’s the problem with either/or shows. When there’s no funny or no serious, it’s just unrealistic. Also, how hilarious was it to see the bruja spit all over Reg considering what an ass he was in the beginning episodes? So good.

Do you know what else helps makes this show good? It’s willing to bring up ugly issues and leave them unresolved. The neighborhood complaints about the police not caring when it’s a “missing brown girl from a nobody family,” they didn’t let them off the hook with that. In fact, when the higher-ups pulled their resources to find the “pretty, rich, white” NYU girl, it kind of proves the point. And as Jane says after they nab the killer, “Even if we do it to cover our own asses, we care now.”

HATITUDE

So, interesting sexual dynamic happening with Jane and Chief Costello, no? Looks like she and the deputy chief of patrol (played by series executive producer Peter Berg) have a history, and a complicated one at that. These gray areas, they help make this show interesting. Jane’s good at her job because she’s a hard worker and pays attention. But she is not above using her personal relationships to get what she wants, though in a considerably less overtly flirty way than the other female detective they showed earlier. And while I don’t want this show to progress down a sleeping with the boss kind of road – and I don’t think it will, it’s smarter than that – I do think the messiness is interesting.

THAT GUMSHOE THING

This case of a murdered girl found naked, covered in flowers in a park unfolded really organically. Instead of forcing some sort of gut-instinct mysticism on the detectives’ abilities, it let them explore avenues and be wrong. It wasn’t the step-dad. It wasn’t the gang. And while I suspected the kinda creepy park attendant might be the guy fairly early on, it never seemed so obvious to make the rest of the show pointless. Those two pretty exciting foot chases didn’t hurt either. And when they let Jane do her thing in the interrogation room, well, that’s a pretty good day at the office for all parties involved. Well, all parties except the prime suspect, that is.

So, please tell me you’re watching this show. NBC hasn’t given it a full season pick up yet, though it is running repeats throughout the week to try to drum up a few more viewers. If you like it, tell a friend. I’d really like to keep watching it this season.

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