I really like Jeff Goldblum…his rambling, ramshackle charm is apparent in everything he appears in…and so I really wanted to like Raines (which debuted on NBC this week in ER’s Thursday night timeslot)…but, alas, I did not.
Goldblum’s distinctive mannerisms are in full effect…if muted due to the character’s tragic past and seemingly fragile grip on his sanity…but despite his best efforts this show is a plodding, predictable police detective procedural with the added bit of business being Detective Michael Raines’ penchant for interacting with hallucinations of the victims of the murders he’s investigating (they go out of their way to make sure we understand that they are indeed hallucinations…figments of Raines’ imagination…and not ghosts.)
The conceit is too precious by half and, sadly, it’s about the only interesting part of the show. The supporting cast is filled with cop show clichés (the gruff boss with the hidden heart of gold, the beautiful tech geek, etc.) and the twist at the end of the pilot concerning Raines’ injured ex-partner (the remarkable Malik Yoba in a fine turn) was easy to peg from the first time he appeared.
I’m glad to see Goldblum get a regular gig I just wish it was something more worthy of his talents.
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