Pilot Perception: Rosewood

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: Rosewood, FOX in the U.S. and Canada, Wednesdays at 8/7c

The Pedigree: The show is executive produced by Marty Bowen and Wyck Godfrey (Revenge) as well as Todd Harthan (Psych). The pilot was directed by Richard Shepard (Girls).

The Cast & How You Know Them: Rosewood stars Morris Chestnut (Nurse Jackie), along with Gabrielle Dennis (The Game), Jaina Lee Ortiz (The Shop), Lorraine Toussaint (Orange Is the New Black), Anna Konkle (Maron), and Domenick Lombardozzi (The Wire).

The Premise: Dr. Beaumont Rosewood, Jr., solves murders as a private pathologist in Miami.

A Taste:


What Works: If you ignore the issues below (and there are a lot, to be fair) — this was just mindless, pleasant procedural fun, and there’s an opening for that in my own TV diet right now. Attractive, charming lead, gorgeous setting, straightforward crime-solving — this is the kind of show that you keep on your DVR and save for when you’ve had a really bad day and just need to watch a hot guy be really smart while running shirtless along a beach. I also appreciated the diverse cast and the fact that Rosewood’s sister(/assistant?) is engaged to a woman and it’s treated very matter-of-factly. And Rosewood’s cheerfulness and optimism is a refreshing change from the “brilliant but dour and unpleasant” thing that sometimes seems to be the procedural default.

What Doesn’t: Well, let’s be clear: this show makes absolutely no sense at all. Are private pathologists a thing? Is there enough money in the private autopsy business (????) to bankroll a ridiculously fancy lab, a staff, and a flashy lifestyle? And he’s basically a local celebrity? I. But. What?? On a more serious note, Rosewood’s attitude toward women seems potentially questionable, but I couldn’t quite get a handle on it from one episode — if he treats them as disposably as his sister hints at one point, that would be enough to ruin the fun for me. Also: There was a completely unnecessary random dig at young adult novels.

Our Favorite Line: “Considered by some to be the Beethoven of private pathologists.” “Did you really just say that out loud?”

You Might Like This if you like cheerful procedurals, like The Finder or old school USA Network blue skies shows, and are willing to suspend a fair amount of disbelief.

If You’re Interested: FOX is rerunning the pilot on Friday at 9/8c, or catch it on demand, on Hulu, or on the FOX site.

(Photo courtesy of FOX.)

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