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Spring 2014 Review: Killer Women

12 Feb

Killer Woman

The show is called Killer Women, plural. It’s unclear the multiple women are, but the key woman is Molly Parker, played by Battlestar Galactica’s Tricia Helfer (of course Molly Parker is the name of another TV actress now seen in House of Cards). Helfer is one of the only two female Texas Rangers, and the other law officers are still clearly unaccustomed to having to respect women as officers. She’s a law officer fighting a lack of respect in a man’s world, reminiscent of the better but failed Prime Suspect with Maria Bello a few years back. She’ll do anything it seems to fight her way towards the truth, and she’s got good instincts which help her read situations and determine whether people are telling the truth or lying.

Parker has had recent personal troubles as well. She’s getting out of an abusive marriage where her husband, a local political power player, from whom she’s separated, refuses to sign the divorce papers (sidenote: in 2014, how is having to get your partner to sign a paper to get divorced still a thing? How is this not insane?). The other main cast members surround Karker – her brother, with whom she’s now living, is played by former fellow BSG alum Michael Trucco (Samuel Anders, who was a professional at whatever that stupid sport was from BSG, which I won’t dignify with a name) and her DEA agent love interest is played by Marc Blucas (Riley from Buffy –not a name I thought I’d necessarily ever hear again).

Who are the other Killer Women I wonder? In the pilot, a woman (My Name is Earl’s Nadine Velazquez) kills a man at the behest of a drug cartel, but she seems like a single episode character, but maybe not. The other possibility is that the killer is every episode is a woman but that could also get predictable.

Anyway, the rest of the story is pretty boring. She’s a no-nonsense doesn’t play by the rules Texas Ranger, and she breaks a bunch of rules, and in fact kills a few people (though it’s in Mexico, and they’re drug cartel employees, so it doesn’t really count) so that by the end of the episode she finds out the truth and on top of that gets a valuable witness to testify for the DEA. Win win, except for the rules broken, or maybe win win win because of the rules broken, because that’s how police TV works.

I literally just wrote in my last new show review of Intelligence about my desire for cops who at least more or less play within the rules, and well, that extends here. The show is oddly cavalier here in particular about just how fair the chances were of her or her DEA agent friend getting murdered when they went down to Mexico without authorization to rescue a couple of people kidnapped by a drug cartel. It’s great and all that they were able to do it, and since it was successful, in hindsight it looks great, but there’s pretty little discussion of risks not just to them but to their entire departments if they’re caught or killed in Mexico abusing police weaponry without authorization.

There really is an interesting show to be made revolving around border culture and the drug cartels and painting a really interesting, complicated and nuanced picture of the situation. This, to be fair, doesn’t particularly try to do that, so it wouldn’t be fair to call Killer Women out on it, but it just reminds me of the opportunity missed. (The Bridge could still be that show, but I’m not sold yet; we’ll see how its second season goes).

All in all, it’s an average-at-best police procedural. It was watchable enough but it certainly didn’t command any attention; I could have been reading a book and still followed along.

Will I watch it again? No. There’s just not much for me here. It wasn’t awful just uninspired. Good for broadcast TV for throwing in a female action hero; bad on them for not making it in a better show.