Pilot Perception: King & Maxwell

Welcome to Pilot Perception, our feature in which we break down the first episode of each new show in order to help you decide whether it’s worth your time.

The Show: King and Maxwell, TNT, Mondays at 10/9c

The Pedigree: King and Maxwell was created by Shane Brennan of the NCIS empire, based on novels by David Baldacci. Grant Anderson (Third Watch) and Chris Downey (Leverage) join him as executive producers. The pilot was directed by Michael Katleman (Rizzoli and Isles).

The Cast & How You Know Them: King and Maxwell stars Jon Tenney (The Closer) and Rebecca Romijn (Ugly Betty). The cast also includes Ryan Hurst (Sons of Anarchy), Michael O’Keefe (Roseanne), and Chris Butler (The Good Wife).

The Premise: Sean King and Michelle Maxwell are former Secret Service agents who have now teamed up as private investigators. They use their skills and connections from their former careers in their unique way of solving crimes, and, of course, have a complicated personal dynamic as well.

A Taste:

What Works: I recently read the first book in this series and found the main characters to be quite interesting and likeable, so I was happy to see that this was mostly preserved in the pilot. I assume we’re heading for “will they/won’t they” territory, and I’m fine with that. In general, the pilot came across as an enjoyable if somewhat generic summer cable procedural, and hey, who doesn’t need a few enjoyable if generic cable procedurals on the DVR? There was nothing particularly outstanding here, but it all worked just fine.

What Doesn’t: The banter between the leads was a little too bickery for me; I hope that will settle down over time as the characters become more established. And the actual case of the week didn’t particularly grab me; this early, it’s hard to tell whether that will be an ongoing problem or not. (And again, the case was fine, just not particularly memorable, except for some shiny technology that it involved.)

Our Favorite Line: Maxwell: “Have you started reading romance novels again?” King: “Oh, I never stopped.”

You Might Like This if you like other cable procedurals about slightly unconventional detectives from networks like TNT and USA, or if you like procedurals featuring two leads with a “will they/won’t they” component, like Bones or Castle.

If You’re Interested: TNT is reairing the pilot a few times this week, so check your local listings. (Or watch it on their site, though you might need a cable service login for that.) Then set your DVR for Monday at 10/9c.

(Photo courtesy of TNT.)

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