All pictures courtesy of FOX unless otherwise noted
Earning the first entry into shows that have completely and pleasantly surprised me this year comes FOX's Rosewood (#Rosewood) starring Morris Chestnut and his beautiful manliness, and that's coming from another hetero man. I appreciate his handsomeness because it lets me know that I am not alone in this world as a devilishly handsome man. So few of us there are, but are plight, indeed, is real. We suffer in silence surrounded only by our own sex appeal and the innumerable amount of people who love us. Even worse, we have brains, and big ones that they want too. Quell your desires for me world! I can only handle so much.
As with all of these three week round up posts, I would kindly point you to the #Premiere Week link up top for you to find out what I thought about this show originally. Click it and scroll down to FOX which should be the second or third section in line. But I will also give you a quick refresh of my feelings here.
From start, I really didn't think much of this show. As many of you may have glimpsed in many of my other new show three week round up reviews, most of the new shows that have premiered so far have been buddy cop procedurals. Blindspot, Minority Report, Limitless all fall into this category while The Player also gives its own unique twist to the format. Knowing this going into the season, I wasn't too thrilled about watching yet another buddy cop show, especially with my pre-established haul of Sleepy Hollow, Castle, Mysteries of Laura and the occasional Law and Order: SVU episode. Therefore, with all of those shows pairing up a lady and a man to see if sparks or zany chemistry would fly, I took a look at Rosewood and decided it looked far too pedantic and ordinary for me to invest heaping amounts of time. I actually had struck it from my new season card, daring not to watch it at all even though I wanted to support Morris. But, due to both my mother and uncle recommending I take a look, I decided to binge watch the first three episodes all last night after reading through my partial outline of a new episodic novella series entitled Extraordinary. Boy was I surprised.
Morris Chestnut plays the titular character of Rosewood who is referred to predominantly by friends and colleagues as Rosie which I hate because every time I hear it, I think of Rose O'Donnell who I don't care for, but I digress. Rosewood is a private forensics pathologist who describes himself as "the Beethoven of Pathologists." Working with a small team of his sister and a woman who I think is his sister's girlfriend but I'm not sure, he runs the premier private pathology lab in Miami and, if you ask him, the entire United States. For those unfamiliar with a forensics pathology lab, it is that big lab that they have on CSI or most crime shows where they examine the body in a criminal investigation. There's all sorts of computers and fancy gadgets to take prints and just a ton of stuff that science geeks go crazy for.
To show his excellence in his field, he breaks down and solves a purported crime on the scene just after his morning run when he happens to jog into the police. A friendly but contentious relationship with the cops, he's worked with them many times on cases and often is brought in to consult on their more troubling crimes. After just five minutes spent at a crime scene, he determines that the man who supposedly was thrust from a hotel window to his death below by a high-end prostitute actually committed suicide after learning of his late stage pancreatic cancer. Yeah, he's genius like that.
Things get interesting when he meets the newest detective to the precinct Annalise. A transplant from New York, it is revealed that she actually came from Miami but had moved up north to be with her husband who has since died. She said the man did a run, got up for work one day after eating pizza the night before and collapsed from an embolism. One of their favorite things to do together was dance as evidenced by the second episode in which she right hooks a man in his jaw for trying to close up his club and stop the music. Rihanna warned club owners about this, she even begged for them to please don't stop the music. She knew, as did Gloria Estefan, that the rhythm is going to get you and when it does, whoa! It's not easily un-gotten and halted.
Here was where the show ticked me off a little because I didn't find this natural in any way except to play into the overused motif. For whatever reason, Annalise immediately doesn't like Rosewood and dismisses his theory on why a certain crime is actually a murder. Now, unlike in some of the other shows I've covered this past week and even in some of my older procedurals like Castle and Sleepy Hollow, the doubting party had a legitimate reason for doubting their future partner. Castle is just a crime writer who has no experience at solving real murders. Ichabod is supposedly some guy from two or three centuries ago suddenly thrust into modern times (aka wack-a-doodle). Limitless has a guy that has to take a pill to be smart, and is otherwise just a slacker loser. Even Minority Report has the strange guy that can supposedly see into the future, but Rosewood?
Rosewood has a pathologist who is at the top of his field and has consulted on countless Miami PD cases in the past and is famous and well-known enough to have billboards around the city advertising his services, yet... she won't even give him the time of day because she trusts her gut instincts and the amateurish report done by the actual ME? What? Did he come off as a little arrogant? Yes, but she matched and even surpassed his know-it-all-ness with her constant scowl and verging eye roll before even knowing the man. It almost felt racist or, even worse, like that pretty girl syndrome. What's that? It's when a girl (usually grown women don't do it but some have been known to) wouldn't even talk to a man because she "knows" she's so pretty that every man wants her. Lady, I was just trying to ask you where the nearest Burger King was so I could get that black-bunned Whopper that makes my poo turn green. Every man don't want you, honey. His expertise and excellence in his field so closely related to what she does gave no leeway into why she distrusted him so quickly. For that, I had to take off a point from the grade, or... whatever.
Ignoring that, she finally does admit that there is something to his theory and starts to investigate, giving the show a much more believable tension when she tries to keep him from following her around to question her suspects. Their bickering is cute but he manages to be right a lot. As a side note, this guy is precisely the reason I have my doubts about Limitless lasting. This guy is a veritable genius in his own right and he doesn't need to take a pill to become one. But back to the case, Rosewood discovers that the girl was murdered as she was part of a drug ring that imported black cocaine through international waters.
What started as a simple car crash into the water that Rosie's mother asked him to look at (she knew the girl as a near musical prodigy at the high school she's principal over) turned into a creative murder case where she was unconscious when she went into the water and a block of dry ice was placed over her foot to hold it upon the gas pedal. The ice melted in the water and the cops were none the wiser about the set-up. A man with an expansive network of connections throughout the city, Rosie knew not only where to find the marina where the killer docked his boat but knew of plenty sources he could nudge information from, some of which would appear in later episodes. The case climaxed with Annalise going undercover as just another party girl, getting onto the boat of the drug trafficker and finding the black coke molded into records to blend into the man's cover as a famous local DJ. When coast guard and police raid the boat all they'd find were hot women and records--party supplies for any man living la vida loca.
In a crazy chase across the dock, the man scooped up a young woman with one arm and continued to sprint with her. Like, seriously, when I saw it I halfway lost my everything. This wasn't a little girl and he didn't look like that big of a guy but he yanked her up with such ease you would have thought she weighed ten pounds. Rosewood came behind him and stuck him with a needle full of some drug he said would make his bones feel like sharp knives and the man gave up. Do they make a good team? Yes, according to Rosewood.
But wait, what's the catch of this show. Yes, there is a bit of a catch to it and it lies within Rosewood's character. See, he isn't just obsessed with death and good at his job because it's American to try to be very good at what you do, he is at the top of his field because of his own proximity to death. A premature birth, he spent 4 months in NICU trying to develop the things his body didn't during the six months he stayed in his mother's womb. He had his first stroke when he was 11, another when 21 I think and he has a terrible heart which has caused his doctors to project he'll be dead within the next decade--he's currently late 30s, early 40s. He's had to deal with a closeness to death all of his life which has given him a joyful, refreshing and unique outlook on life while managing to stay so close to death on a daily basis. And this is one of the big reasons I enjoy this show.
There's plenty of other stuff I could mention in this review/recap like the fact that he has a budding romance with Nicole Ari Parker who plays a therapist/psychiatrist with her fine self. Or that Annalise was ordered by her captain to attend therapy to get over the still fresh loss of her husband and that she ends up seeing who else but Nicole Ari Parker's character, though neither woman knows of the other's relationship with Rosie. I could also mention the other two cases--one involving the discovery of a severed leg and foot on the sandy beach that belonged to a matchmaker man who was killed by his wife and fiance when they not only discovered each other but found out he was cheating on and going to leave them both for the true love of his life, his female business partner in the matchmaking business. Or the case with the young fella accused of killing a rich man after sneaking into his house to live his life while the rich guy vacationed. As it turned out, he was poisoned with antifreeze by a fraudulent car dealer that sold knock-off luxury cars filled with cheap parts I could mention those but I won't. Instead, I'll jump to my grade.
My grade for this series so far? I give it a solid B (it would have been a B+ had it not been for the whole "I hate you for no reason" shtick). As much as things like CSI, NCIS, Criminal Minds and etc. don't generally interest me (I never even got into Bones), something about this show drew me in and didn't let me go. In a refreshing (using that word again? Wow, my thesaurus has failed me today) turn for Morris Chestnut, he actually plays the funnier character rather than the straight man. He's on a charm offensive strong enough to rival that of Nathan Fillion's on Castle. And even though some of his lines are delivered in a rather disingenuous way, even then they draw you further into loving him. Chestnut looks like he's having the most fun I've ever seen him have in a role and that's even including The Best Man, The Brothers and Two Can Play That Game--I know some of you white people are looking at me like "what?" I ain't got time. Look that stuff up! Also, he and that Annalise woman have a real chemistry going that seems like old friends or siblings going at it. I'm sure they'll eventually go the same way as Bones and Castle and get together but for now, I like the "oil and water" dynamic.
Should you be watching? Yes. If you like crime dramas with a hint of humor in the vain of CSI: Miami or Castle or Scorpion or Limitless, not to mention an ethnically diverse show (this show has so many deep mahogany black people on it I'm surprised it hasn't been asked by the police to keep it moving for loitering on the airwaves for too long; have to balance out the cinnamon-y blacks of Empire I guess) with a Black man and Latina woman as the leads, then this is the show for you. Plus, the cases and how they solve them aren't bad either and do make you have to mentally engage more than Minority Report. You can skip episodes if you want or watch the whole season and it wouldn't matter either way as there is no threading mystery, but watching good guys bring bad guys to justice never gets old. Again, this is right up the alley for the CSI crowd.
What do you think? Have you seen this show? How do you think the relationship between Rosewood's girlfriend and Annalise will play out? Are you happy to see that Ricky didn't die in that alley in the hood and made it out of Compton and to Miami? Let me know in the comments below.
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Until next time, “Riiicckky!"
P.S. Seems like Rosewood has a huge scar in his chest from where they shot him in the back in Boyz In The Hood. What? So I'm confusing you about the characters? Please. You know what I'm talking about. I'll keep thinking of a proper sign-off. Meanwhile, here's another picture of Morris Chestnut topless because I know it's what you ladies want. It cuts off just before the man nips. No man nips tonight.
|Picture blatantly borrowed from the internets|
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