Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday – Motive

Adjusting to life as a new mom is not easy, although wonderful.  However, regardless of the joy, I still have the need to get back to some sort of normalcy.  Therefore, I have decided it’s time to throw out another new blog post.  Well, kind of a new post… today’s post is a rerun from last summer with updated information.  So if you are still wondering whether or not ABC’s Motive is worth a watch, this post is for you!

Television is full of crime dramas and police procedurals today, but most of these shows focus on the investigation and capture of the suspects rather than the motive behind the act.  Some TV programs might answer the “why” in a brief one or two lines of dialogue after they’ve interrogated the suspect for a few minutes, but they don’t really spend a lot of time on the motive.

ABC’s crime drama, Motive, changes all of that.

The series, now in its second season, follows Detective Angie Flynn (Kristin Lehman, Judging Amy and The Killing) and her partner (Louis Ferreira, SGU Stargate Universe) as they work homicide cases.

Detectives Flynn and Vega

Wait a minute… that sounds just like every other police procedural on TV today.  Right?

Wrong.  Motive identifies the killer and victim at the beginning of each episode before we even see the crime scene.  Now that’s unique… and I absolutely love the format!

For the most part, Motive is like all the other police procedurals out there… the detectives inherit a case and work the scene from the ground up, looking primarily for the “who” and the “why.”  But with ABC’s drama (actually, Motive is a Canadian TV series that has been picked up by ABC the past two summers…), viewers get to see the “who” and “why” before anything else.  The show flashes back throughout the entire hour, telling us the stories of both the killer and the victim, and very little about the detectives and their personal lives.

That’s right.  Motive is more about the crimes than it is the stars of the show.  Having missed the pilot last year, I wasn’t even aware that Flynn was a single mother until about the fourth episode.  And even then, the series barely touched on that relationship… but there was enough to give the no-nonsense detective a heart (I’m not saying she’s callous, it’s just that she’s not on the job to make friends).

Detective Flynn is a closer…


Motive kind of reminds me of a combination of Cold Case (because of the series of flashbacks) and the short-lived series The Whole Truth, where viewers experienced the crime through both the prosecutor’s and the defense attorney’s point of view and they had to decide which one was the truth… fun show, but it didn’t last long.

And by the way, the crime drama also stars: Lauren Holly (NCIS) as Betty Rogers, the medical examiner; Brendan Penny (Stargate: Atlantis) as rookie detective Brian Lucas; and Warren Christie (Alphas) as the new boss, Sergeant Mark Cross.

Dr. Rogers is a small role for Lauren Holly, but it’s nice to see her back on TV.

So what’s the verdict?  Motive is different enough from the other police procedurals on TV.  I’ll give it at least that.  But do I like it more than all the others?  Not really.  But kinda.

That’s right; I’m torn. I do really like how the series focuses more on the crime (and the killer and victim) than the cops themselves.  And I am REALLY glad ABC picked up the second season. However, watching police procedurals is like standing on the chip aisle at the local grocery.  There are so many different brands and flavors to choose from, each bag with its own unique twist, that we only have time to grab a few here and there each time or our grocery basket would be nothing but chips. For that, Motive earns the JFTV rating.

Luckily for this one, it airs during the summer and doesn’t have a whole lot of competition. But the more I watch, the more I think it could hold its own with other police procedurals during the regular fall to spring television schedule. And I already find myself hoping for a third season…

Bottom line? Motive is my favorite summer crime drama (on the basic network TV channels).

Do you watch Motive? I’d love to hear from you!


Tiffany A. White is the author of the YA mystery Football Sweetheart series available on Kindle and Nook.  She is available for contact via Twitter, Facebook, Google+, or via email at tiffany {at} tiffanyawhite {dot} com.


2 Replies to “Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday – Motive”

  1. I love Motive. If you liked Cold Case, have you watched Cold Justice? It’s very well done nonfiction about solving cold cases, using a real former prosecutor and a real former crime scene investigator.

    1. I haven’t watched Cold Justice. I actually heard some negative reviews about the TNT program. But it was renewed for a second season, so maybe I’ll see if I can catch some via OnDemand…

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