Review of "Killer Women" on ABC From The TV MegaSite

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"Killer Women" review by Sundi 1/8/14
Airs Tuesdays 10/9c on ABC

There has been a lot of talk lately about how there is really no truly original ideas anymore; that everything is just being recycled over and over again. If you watch a lot of TV, then this not new news, especially if you watched the new series, Killer Women on Monday. ABCís latest attempt at a police procedural is mostly female-friendly and combines a few elements of TV that I canít resist: unintentional camp, sexy women, and southern accents. So, while this show gets a lot of things right, it gets some things wrong and I am not going to punish it for its missteps like so many other critics are doing. I just canít bring myself to slam a show that is so blatantly fun and soapy.


But, Iíll start with what it got wrong. For one, it is taking itself waaaay too seriously. When it should be playing up its telenovella-ness, it is instead acting like a serious procedural in the vein of CSI. The camp is its strong suit, but not when it isnít in on the joke, especially with lines like, ďThereís a good chance we are gonna die in Mexico tonight.Ē Oy . If it could only relax and give into the the parody-as-premise, the audience could buy in even more -- like its ancestor Desperate Housewives or the short-lived (and much underrated) GCB.  As it stands, Killer Women is asking us to consider it Vanity Fair, when its clearly just US Weekly (which is my preference, anyway). Further, the male characters are thinly drawn stereotypes bordering on cliches. There is a tough, chauvinistic cop looking to belittle Molly as one of the only two female Rangers, her abusive ex-husband, a dreamy love interest that she canít commit to, and an older brother that might turn out to be a protective element in later episodes. The men serve as accessories to the women, most specifically Molly, and are so two-dimensional they almost become irrelevant, and in a show about killer women, you need the kind of men the audience can invest in (whether we love them or hate them) to make the premise work. We still have seven episodes to go, so I may be a little premature in this judgment -- Iím willing to admit when Iím wrong (and I hope I am). I have high hopes for the on-again-off-again DEA Agent Dan played by Marcus Blucas because he always plays a charming winner, and Molly needs that, it seems.


The first episode focuses on the murder of an assistant District Attorney on her wedding day by a sexy Latina woman in a red dress.  The episode opens with her in front of the Alamo, then we see her stalk up the aisle and point the gun at the bride dressed in white. We are meant to assume she shot her out of jealousy, and the male-led local police force assumes it is a crime of passion as well, but Mollyís intuition lead her to investigate further and she finds there is much more at stake than a revenge killing. The shooter, as it turns out, was blackmailed by a Mexican drug cartel into the crime by kidnapping her daughter and mother -- none of which the male officers bothered to figure out (see what I mean about two-dimensional?).


The dynamic between Molly and the shooter, played by Nadine Velazquez, is part of what Killer Women is getting right. This show is for women, produced by women (Sofia Vergara being among the executive producers) and allows women to enjoy it without being self-conscious about what itís saying about women. I like that itís not judging the female characters, and even allows Molly a sexual relationship with cutey Dan without any talk of commitment or baggage. Also, I think the treatment of the Latina character was done pretty well, and was respectful of the challenges of the culture and the region. And mostly, the show has sexy, good-looking folks that are doing exciting stuff. Whatís not to love?  I am going to stick with it -- look how well Scandal turned out. Let me know what you think -- tweet me @sroseholt.

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