I’ll admit I wasn’t particularly interested in sitting down to watch my screener for Rizzoli & Isles. I figured that I’d seen that format before, and that my love for Sasha Alexander (Gretchen Witter on Dawson’s Creek!) didn’t stretch that far. But I was, as I far too often am, wrong.

Angie Harmon is the other lead in this new TNT series, which premieres this summer. The series is based on popular mystery novels by Tess Gerritsen. Jane Rizzoli (Harmon) is a Boston detective that works alongside Maura Isles (Sasha Alexander). The cast is round up with Lorraine Bracco (The Sopranos), Billy Burke (Twilight), Jordan Bridges (Dawson’s Creek) Lee Thompson Young and Bruce McGill .

The series pilot is called “See One. Do One. Teach One.” We jump in and the show is already giving you major backstory on Rizzoli. Since I haven’t seen the series, I’d say that it seems like Rizzoli and Isles are friends, but not super close yet (because even if Rizzoli is okay coming to visit Isles in the middle of the night, she doesn’t know that she has a GIANT pet tortoise?).I really look forward to seeing these two become stronger in friendship, and I suspect that’s what the show will do when it’s not solving crime.

Having no previous knowledge of the series, for a while I thought the show might delve into these two as being a lesbian couple, or at least two women with attraction to each other. The show isn’t doing that, and I’m just as glad for two female leads to be helming up a crime procedural that is usually dominated by males. (No offense to the males, but women just do it better 😛 Kidding. But you must admit that we often have better shoes.)

Speaking of shoes – I really do like the way they’ve incorporated that Isles is a very fashion forward woman. For many careers, especially if you work with dead bodies, I’d think that people would dress down a bit. But I like that she cares about what she wears and doesn’t compromise it.

I like the character of Maura Isles better than Rizzoli, because Isles is more feminine and practical – while Rizzoli is tough. They made it clear in the first episode that Isles has a gorgeous home, an eccentric pet (tortoise) and knows her way around a great pair of shoes. Rizzoli is more down-to-earth, and she has family problems. As in, her family won’t leave her alone! That’s never fun, except when it’s happening on TV. And Lorraine Braaco plays an excellent mother Rizzoli who knows just how to layer on the guilt.

Rizzoli & Isles is definitely a solid show, but while it’s okay – it’s not a show I can say I’ll for sure be loyal to past a few more episodes. With one episode down, at least I’m intrigued. (It’s a bad sign if I’m not.)

I must add a rating warning… Most of the show is fairly tame, or would be around PG-13, but in the pilot the opening scene really disturbed me.  Just be prepared for that. Overall, I’d say this show has lots of potential.

Rizzoli & Isles Pictures from the pilot:

angie harmon rizzolirizzoli & islessasha alexandar rizzolirizzoli and isles picssasha alexander islesrizzoli and isles cast

Previously: Rizzoli & Isles: pictures of the prettiness