Before I watched Jeff Goldblum’s new show about a cop who can see the dead (on NBC almost everyone can see the dead) , I thought I would do a little research to see if he ever did any TV before he made it big in movie land. and it turns out Mr Goldblum starred in a show called Tenspeed and Brown Shoe, which ran for 13 episodes in 1980. Now I thought I knew a little something about TV, but I can’t begin to tell you anything about that show… in fact I can’t even make anything up based on the title, the irony being that TV has crushed whatever was left of my fragile imagination to the point where I can’t make up a synapses for a TV show. Anyway enough about my psyche, let’s talk about Raines.
Before I start I will say I was very skeptical, based on what I had read about this show, as I have almost had it with “cop solving crime… with a twist!” shows, but this turned out to be some decent twistage with a long term future if some decent writers get hold of it and NBC show some faith and give it another run next year.
Goldblum plays Michael Raines, a homicide detective who can see his victims, much like Allison Dubois in Medium. The difference here is that Raines doesn’t see ghosts, what he sees is a hallucination that can’t tell him anything he hasn’t figured out for himself, at least that’s the way I understood it.
The opening scene alone dispelled all my fears, as it had a touch of classic Hollywood about it, and reminded me of the scene in Sin City where Josh Hartnett (spoiler if you haven’t seen it) kills James King.
Jeff Goldblum’s narration is just as you would expect, a dry subtle humour that lends itself very well to the tone of the show, which is a quiet, thoughtful one. the dialogue worked well throughout, and the production values were very high, which you can tell almost immediately from the superb opening shot.
The only cheesy moment was the inclusion of a dead ex-partner for Goldblum to pine over, but it should provide for some interesting back story in a future episode no doubt.
Overall, I thought the show, if allowed to, really has legs and could have a great future. It debuted with a respectable 10.3 million viewers and was beaten by another new starter on ABC, October Road, which sounds boring but I may have to watch it just so I know for sure.
If a UK network was looking to purchase Raines, I would put my money on ITV, for transmission on ITV3 on any weeknight. It fits in well with Numbers, or Hack, or one of those other thingies. At a push, it could work on BBC2. But nobody would watch, it would be relegated to midnight, and viewers would disappear without a trace. So ITV3 it is then.