I'm so sold on this show. The dialogue is better than snappy - it's downright surprising. I'm all for an existential detective. In fact, I don't care about the weekly cases at all. I just want to hear the lead (Charlie Crews, played by Damian Lewis) chat with his partner, Dani (Sarah Shahi), and try to figure out who framed him 10 years ago, sending him to jail.
Dani is a SFL, as is their boss, Lieutenant Karen Davis, and Charlie's lawyer/potential love interest, Constance Griffiths, who fought for five years to free him from prison.
While in jail, Charlie developed a philosophical outlook on life, and now wanders around throwing out random zen koans and trying to find a balance between his attraction to material goods and need for detachment. Dani tolerates this, but her own life philosophy is less clear. She is battling internal demons of drug and alcohol addiction, and emotional damage from we're not sure yet what at her core.
I enjoyed Shahi as Carmine in her L Word days, and she's even tougher in this show. In the pilot, Lieutenant Davis and Dani butt heads over Davis's "request" for Dani to report any suspicious behavior of Charlie's, so they can kick him off the force.
In last night's episode, when Charlie falls in a pool struggling with a suspect, Dani not only commands all the guy cops not to shoot, but then makes the choice to use a stun gun to electrocute Charlie and the other guy in the water, to separate them so they don't drown. As all the cops stare, stunned, she says, "Well, get him out of there."
So I had already decided to promote the show as chock full of SFLs (contrasted with Charlie's current desire to sleep with a random collection of women), when I found the show wanted to do the same. Charlie's suspicious ex-partner comes up to him and says: "I don't envy you. Woman boss, woman partner... Makes my head spin thinking about what a hen house this department's become."
While I prefer my misogyny a bit more subtle, clearly the show is committed to exploring the tensions between male and female cops. Reviews and ratings are mixed, so we'll see if it can survive to do so.
Best line from last night:
Charlie: You were a little girl once.
Dani: There's no proof of that.