Evan Slead ’16 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer
Can she do it all? That’s not the tag line for NBC’s new drama, The Mysteries of Laura, but it may as well should be. She’s a mom, an NYPD detective, and a wife still trudging through a divorce to a whimsy police lieutenant. She is Laura Dimond. Debra Messing spearheads the show as Laura and one strong point is that Messing shows her skill as an actress without question. The overall show still seems to be searching for its voice, but that voice has its enjoyable whispers in this pilot.
Viewers are introduced to Laura and her double life in New York as she chases down a gunman near the Hudson River. Shooting the ear off of the perp as he holds a hostage, Laura may be messy but she gets the job done. At home, Laura has to take care of two young and wild boys while navigating her strange divorce. Enter Josh Lucas who plays Laura’s soon to be ex-husband Jake. Their relationship ending isn’t completely cut and dry which causes Laura turmoil. Her precinct life is no different, co-workers that don’t want her to succeed and a messy office.
The pilot episode revolves around solving a murder case which shows viewers Laura’s style of solving cases. Sprinkled throughout are scenes of Laura looking for a new preschool for her boys to attend. Just like solving her cases, Laura sometimes uses a dirtier approach to getting the job done. This includes blackmailing a teacher to get an interview at the school, and giving her boys cough medicine to calm them down during the interview. Of course, these moments are never shown too seriously and moreover give a down to earth aspect to Laura’s detective life.
The biggest “mystery” of this show is what genre it’s trying to fit into. NBC classifies it as a “drama”. Now, of course drama’s can have comedy. Look to the other Wednesday night crime show, Law & Order: SVU and it’s clear that it’s a drama but with comedy sprinkled in. Clearly the subject matter of The Mysteries of Laura is for the more mature audience, but every subtle joke seems to be exposed and expanded upon like a comedy would do. This is where the show seems to need to find its voice. As a crime drama, the show works fairly well. The case itself is engaging and the outcome was a surprise. The strong aspect is that the crime outcome was set up at the beginning of the case. This will give viewers an enjoyable experience looking for the beginning clues to answer “whodunnit”.
The Mysteries of Laura has a strong cast and a promising set up. Hopefully as the season progresses the writers can create a stronger genre voice, but keep the crime solving aspect just as strong as the pilot. You can keep up with the life and times of Laura by watching Wednesday’s at 8/7c on NBC.