Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Raines vs. Monk

I've been watching Jeff Goldblum in his new series Raines. I'm old enough to remember his old series Tenspeed and Brownshoes. Loved him then (and Ben Vereen of course) and I love him now.

The show is not the best, but it has strong points. First the strong points - Raines, a detective who sees (and talks to) the dead people (figments of his imagination that push him to solve the case)is an endearing character. Haunted by the death, in the line of duty, of his partner, more intelligent than those around him, caring. Great character, well played by Goldblum. He's a troubled man and we want to see him work his way out of trouble even if it's only for long enough to solve the case. The nearness of death is like opening the closet door when the closet is overstuffed and all the garbage wants to flow out. Solving the case gets the closet door closed. This, of course, is quite a predicament for a homicide detective to be in.

Now for the bad side - to my mind, this show is similar to Monk which is a great show. Greater in some basic ways than Raines. For one thing, Monk's haunting is greater than that of Detective Raines. For Raines, it was his partner that died in a shootout. For Monk, it was his wife, Trudy. Score one for Monk on the sympathy scale. Next, Monk has strongly antagonistic characters surrounding him. Even his friend the captain barks at him. Everyone else thinks he's strange. On RAINES, everyone around him is low key so there is a lack of tension. Even though he's required to go to counseling, his therapist is less antagonistic than Monk's.

Of course, Raines could solve this last problem if he simply pursued a love interest. Plenty of opportunity for antagonism there, and keeping her safe would give him something to worry him as Monk has in Trudy.

Just my opinion.


Blogger pattinase (abbott) said...

I like Monk too but often the crime solving runs a very distant second to illustrating Monk's OCD, which can get tiresome.
I also miss his first assistant who was a more unusual choice than the current one. He could really use a more compelling sidekick.
The saving grace for me is TS's performance and the occasional clever story line.

April 04, 2007 8:48 AM  
Blogger Graham said...

My favorite Monk was the one where he started taking some kind of antidepressents and turned into a abrasive party animal called "The Monk".

But then his wife stops coming around.

So he shows up as his old self and Sharona says, "What happened to 'The Monk'?"

To which Monk replies, "Trudy didn't like him."

April 04, 2007 2:08 PM  
Blogger Graham said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

April 04, 2007 2:08 PM  

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