Thursday, July 4, 2013

Quick Look: King and Maxwell

Summer being a time for reflection, book reading and catching up on shows that you haven't seen (plus a few off season surprises), I've been looking for some shows to watch and stumbled across King & Maxwell.  The premise is certainly nothing new: two former Secret Service agents become private investigators after each is the reason a protectee is harmed (in the case of Sean King, his was killed).  Using their wits and on-the-job training they foil the bad guys and generally have a good time doing so.  In this respect it's fairly unremarkable.  Pithy lines, two-dimensional characters, and the odd chase scene take you through a standard hour-long dramedy.  What is remarkable about this show is the great efforts it makes to introduce believable and strong female characters.

Like it's predecessor Castle, the show introduces Michelle Maxwell (Rebecca Romijn) as a tough, no-nonsense woman of action, and Sean King (Jon Tenny) as her fast talking partner.  While Romijn is almost never without her gun in tow, King prefers to walk into most situations unarmed.  King almost never drives (that honour falls to Maxwell) and while King may try to lead the way in terms of investigative technique, Maxwell is certainly never shown to be intelligent or needing to be aided in some way by King's manly abilities.  This, in and of itself, is refreshing, and done effectively within the context of the show.  It's even evident in the placement of their bodies within the poster.  Mawell is clearly standing forward, ready to charge into action, where King is show as hanging back, perhaps to see what the situation holds before he enters it.  Where Maxwell's hands are clearly visible and her no-nonsense demeanor on display, King's hands are shoved into his pockets, showing a reluctance to engage.

Overall the show is innocuous, excepting the "idiot-savant" sidekick they have introduced.  Edgar serves to undermine much of the good work the writers are doing with the female characters.  At times funny and sweet, Edgar (played by Edgar Roy) is a little "rainman-esque" and is certainly not afforded the kind of care and attention the other leads have received.  The show will have to flesh this character out very quickly or face the consequences of making Edgar no more than a fool in the court of King and Maxwell.

It's certainly worth a watch and I'm interested to see where it goes from here.

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