Sad news for King & Maxwell fans: The show, based on a series of novels by David Baldacci and starring Jon Tenney and Rebecca Romijn as former Secret Service agents turned private investigators, has been cancelled by TNT after its first season. Was anyone watching? I enjoyed it well enough, but it never really hooked me – or many other people, apparently.
Has anyone else been watching TNT’s new procedural King & Maxwell, based on David Baldacci’s novels about disgraced Secret Service agents turned private investigators? I’ve been watching it faithfully, and enjoying it well enough, but it’s not quite working for me as well as I’d hoped. I think my main issue is in the dynamic between the two main characters. They have clearly set this up to be a “will they/won’t they” situation, but so far, at least, this is feeling contrived rather than earned to me. I’m not sure whether the issue is with the writing or the chemistry between the actors – or probably a combination of the two – but I feel like we’re being told that there is romantic and sexual tension between King and Maxwell rather than actually seeing it. It’s like the show is saying “Oh, you all know how this goes when there’s a procedural with male/female leads, so just assume that’s what we’re doing,” but the audience doesn’t know the characters well enough to really feel that they are authentically drawn to each other.
Funnily enough, I thought this tension was done better in the first book, even though there were only a few hints of them being interested in each other – the characters were interesting enough and drawn well enough that it seemed obvious to the reader why they might come together in the future. So this has made me want to read more of the series to find out if and when that happens and to compare it to how things progress on the show.
Anyone else? Am I just crazy?
- Natalie Zea has joined Under the Dome.
- The Leftovers pilot has added Christopher Eccleston, Carrie Coon, Ann Dowd, and Amanda Warren.
- Five actors have joined Killing Kennedy, including Will Rothhaar as Lee Harvey Oswald.
- Christian Kane will guest star on King and Maxwell.
- Skipp Sudduth has been cast on Quarry.
King and Maxwell premiered on TNT last night, and after reading the first book in the series on which it’s based over the weekend – you can read my review here – I was very curious to see what the show was like. And . . . I was a bit underwhelmed, honestly. It was fine. I tend to like procedurals, and this was enjoyable enough, although the case of the week didn’t really grab me like I’d hoped. But it wasn’t bad, either.
As I’d suspected, the events of Split Second (the first book) had little to do with the series opener – they were just mentioned a few times as backstory. I did like that the main characters, who I liked so much in the book, were recognizable in the show, and that they kept some of their defining characteristics, especially all the boating and water sports. The banter between King and Maxwell leaned a bit toward the bickery side for me, but I’m hoping that will improve as the characters settle in. I assume they’re setting up some kind of “will they/won’t they” situation, which was also hinted at in the first book, though I honestly don’t know whether they actually get together in later books. But I like that the pilot didn’t lean too heavily on that dynamic – it’s good to be able to get to know the characters on their own first.
Over all, I don’t expect this to become a new favorite show or anything, but I’ll keep watching, at least for a while. It looks like it has the potential to become a reliably enjoyable summer procedural. Anyone else watch? What did you think?
King & Maxwel premieres on TNT tonight at 10/9c, so I thought it was time to take a look at Split Second, the first book by David Baldacci in the series on which the show is based. Split Second is about Sean King and Michelle Maxwell, two Secret Service agents who have tragedies occur on their watch and then team up to figure out what’s actually going on and how the events are tied together. It’s an interesting premise, but the plot wound up with so many twists and turns that I didn’t think it quite held together – though it did keep me reading. As long as I just went with it and didn’t think too hard, it was a relatively fun read, but the solution to the mystery was so complicated that it didn’t quite work, and I think the book would have been stronger if the plot had been slightly simplified. I was not impressed with Baldacci’s writing in general, but he did do a good job of sustaining a rising level of tension and dread.
Of course, the show isn’t based on this particular case, but on the characters, and I thought it was with the characters that Baldacci excelled. Some of the minor characters were a bit broad, but the main characters, King and Maxwell themselves, were well-drawn, and for a book with so much action, I came to care about the characters surprisingly quickly. They’re both extremely smart and talented, as leads on TV procedurals must be, but they’re not superhuman, and they have enough outside interests and nonstandard traits to make them full-fledged characters without being overly quirky for the sake of it. Even though I wasn’t wild about the writing or plot, the characters made me want to try the next book in the series, and that’s exactly the feeling you want to have about characters you’re going to spend an hour with every week. So I’m hoping that the show preserves that, and that because of the premise of the show (slight spoilers for the book below*) the specific plot of this book isn’t really relevant. Because those characters learning to deal with each other on an ongoing basis and solving crimes? That I will watch every week.
* Slight spoiler: At the end of the book, King and Maxwell decide to start a P.I. agency, and the show is about their adventures together in that capacity. I’m not sure to what extent it will deal with the events in this book, which are probably just backstory on the show.
According to an Entertainment Weekly exclusive, actor Jerry O’Connell is set to guest star on new TNT procedural King & Maxwell, based on David Baldacci’s mystery series. His character, Waskiewicz, is “a low-rent D.C. PI who tends to be a step behind on all his cases. (‘I don’t ask questions’ is literally on his business card.)” King & Maxwell premieres this coming Monday, June 10th, and of course stars O’Connell’s wife, Rebecca Romijn, along with Jon Tenney.
TNT has announced their summer premiere dates for several shows, including two mystery series adaptations: Rizzoli & Isles, based on the novels of Tess Gerritsen, will return for its fourth season on June 18th at 9/8c. And new series King & Maxwell, based on David Baldacci’s series that starts with Split Second, will premiere on June 10th at 10/9c.
Check out a promo for TNT’s summer slate below!
TNT has picked up ten episodes of a private eye drama based on David Baldacci’s Sean King and Michelle Maxwell characters, starring Rebecca Romijn and Jon Tenney. (Yes, the Moonlighting comparisons have already started, so we’ll see how THAT goes.) The series begins with Split Second and has a total of five books so far. The pilot was written by Shane Brennan, who has worked on several shows including both flavors of NCIS. Baldacci is “consulting” on the series, but his level of involvement is unclear at this point. A little about the show, from TNT’s press release:
Sean King (Tenney) and Michelle Maxwell (Romijn) aren’t your typical pair of private investigators. Both are former Secret Service agents, and their unique skills – not to mention their razor-sharp chemistry – often give them a leg up on suspects and conventional law enforcement.
With her striking beauty, athletic prowess and Beltway connections, Maxwell is a formidable investigator, determined to prove herself after being forced to resign from the Secret Service. King, a recovering alcoholic with a passion for romance novels, lost his job with the Secret Service when the presidential candidate he was assigned to protect was assassinated. Now, his background as a lawyer gives him a keen insight into the legal ins and outs necessary to do his job better than just about anyone.
The network has ordered ten episodes, and the untitled (for the moment) series is scheduled to premiere this summer. Any fans of these books excited and/or worried by this news?