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…

Anyway…

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.

 

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Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday – ABC’s Motive

After my second DVR crash since March, I found myself scurrying around, trying to recover the 200+ recordings I lost.  Amongst those so inconveniently deleted was ABC’s new police procedural, Motive

Unfortunately, I missed the pilot.  When I was finally ready to sit down and enjoy a Motive marathon, I couldn’t find the first episode—not online, not via OnDemand, not anywhere.  Thanks a lot U-verse.  I did have the pilot recorded… but anyway.  I have a better DVR now with a larger hard drive, so I can’t complain too much.

Notice I said too much.  I’m still having trouble finding episodes I lost (the King & Maxwell pilot, the Under the Dome pilot, etc) and I hate starting series without that first crucial hour of television to know whether or not they’ve hooked me.

So, for now, I’m stuck doing the best I can and starting with the second episodes…. which is exactly what I did with Motive.

Any time a crime occurs, whether in real life or on TV, everyone wants to know why the crime was committed in the first place—the motive.

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.

Motive, a new ABC crime drama, hopes to change all of that.

The new series 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 will identify the killer and victim at the beginning of each episode.  Before we even see the crime scene!  Now that’s unique…

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 new drama, 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, I wasn’t even aware that Flynn was a single mother until about the fourth episode.  And even then, the series barely touches on that relationship… but there’s 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).

So far, Detective Flynn is a closer…

Anyway…

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.  I believe we’ve already seen more episodes of Motive than The Whole Truth, so that can be promising for ABC’s new police procedural.

And by the way, the new crime drama also stars: Lauren Holly (NCIS) as Betty Rogers, the medical examiner; Roger Cross (24) as Supervisor Boyd Bloom; Brendan Penny (Stargate: Atlantis) as rookie detective Brian Lucas; and Cameron Bright (The Twilight Saga) as Manny Flynn, Angela’s son.

Bottom line?  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.  I will say this though… it is nice that the series actually focuses more on the crime (and the killer and victim) than the cops themselves.  For that, ABC’s new drama scores the JFTV ratingRay Donovan gets the summer’s top nod with a GTV rating, and ABC’s Mistresses gets an upgrade since my last review to my MacTV/guilty pleasure of the summer…

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

But I like Motive.  And I’m all caught up… and I caught up through the seven episodes in only four days.  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.

Have you watched Motive?  Do you plan to?  What do you think of the show’s format, showing us the killer and the victim in the first few minutes?  I’d love to hear from you!

Remember to stop by the #watchwed hashtag in Twitter to discuss today’s review, or to mention any television programs that you’d like to see on Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday in the future.

A Recap of The WatchWed Review System:

GTV (Gourmet TV): Everything we want and more
MacTV (MacNCheese TV): Guilty pleasure. Not perfect, but is satisfies
GMacTV (Gourmet MacNCheese TV): A combination of fine wine and comfort food
JFTV (Junk food TV):It’s not great for us, but we’ll go back for seconds
TBPTV (Twice Baked Potato TV): Part gourmet and delicious, while absolutely horrible for our cholesterol
SSTV (Still Simmering TV): It has potential, but the jury is still out
NIV (NyQuil Induced Viewing): Perfect for that late night television sleep timer
LOTV (Liver&Onions TV): Do we really have to explain? Blech
Inedible TV: Exactly how it sounds…

Television’s Summer Standouts

The summer shows have started, some of them anyway.  We still have The Bridge (FX) set to premiere this week, a few shows about camp life (Camp, an upcoming NBC dramedy, and Summer Camp, a new USA reality series), and The Vineyard (ABC Family) later this month… but out of the series that have already aired, which ones do you consider to be summer standouts?

Crossing Lines (NBC)

Devious Maids (Lifetime)

Graceland (USA)

King & Maxwell (TNT)

Mistresses (ABC)

Motive (ABC)

Ray Donovan (Showtime)

Siberia (NBC)

Under the Dome (CBS)

Whodunnit? (ABC)

For me, Siberia, Ray Donovan, and Whodunnit? are my summer standouts.

Siberia because it’s unlike anything I’ve ever seen on television before.  And not in a good way.  By definition, the show might not fall under the classification of a standout, but it does stand out. Let’s just say it’s a scripted reality program (yeah, might as well call it a drama) with Blair Witch-like cinematography.  Yet, I keep watching…

Ray Donovan because Liev Schreiber is hot.  Ray is a family man; he’s a successful business man (he’s a Hollywood “fixer); he’s a man of few words; and most importantly, he’s not one to cross.  Seriously, hurt his family (either physically or verbally), and just see what happens.  This new Showtime series reminds me a lot of Scandal… meets The Sopranos.

And Whodunnit? because I can’t figure it out.  It may be a corny-murder-mystery-reality series, but I simply can’t figure it out.  I have my suspects… but “the killer” has already proven me wrong once.  Will he/she again?

Your turn… what are your Summer Standouts?  Or Stand Outs?  I’d love to hear from you!