Entertainment Television

TV review: Little mystery to 'Motive'

The high school loner named Tom is the killer in the series premiere of the new crime procedural "Motive" (9 p.m. CT Monday, ABC; 2 stars out of 4). Before you dash off an angry email or tweet to me crying spoilers, understand that I’ve spoiled nothing the show doesn’t within the first minutes of each episode.

Created by “Dexter” producer Daniel Cerone, “Motive” begins by introducing THE KILLER (yes, in all caps on screen) and THE VICTIM. It then dives into the gimmick signaled by its title—the whydunit, if you will.

But for viewers, unraveling the why is neither as fun nor as interesting as discovering the who. Look at it this way: Would "Dallas" or "Twin Peaks" have branded themselves into the pop cultural landscape with teaser lines like "Why did someone shoot J.R.?" or "Why was Laura Palmer killed?"
I don't think so.

That’s not to say that "Motive" doesn't have anything going for it. Kristin Lehman, whom some might remember from the whodunit “The Killing” (which, coincidentally, used the line “Who killed Rosie Larsen?” in its promotions), plays Det. Angie Flynn. Both believable and appealing as the hard-bitten homicide investigator, Lehman provides the only real motive for tuning in.

Her Flynn is a single mom who has the uncanny ability to ferret out a murderer within 20 minutes of each episode. She and her partner, Det. Oscar Vega (Louis Ferreira, not given enough to do) spend the rest of each hour trying to make an arrest after proving the murderer’s motive.

In the premiere, Tom (Tyler Johnston) doesn’t have much a motive for killing a popular teacher (played by former New Kid on the Block Joey McIntyre), which is an unfortunate way to kick off a show called “Motive.”

The show’s better second episode, airing Thursday when “Motive” moves into its regular time slot, is about a mayoral candidate who runs over his babysitter because—I can’t tell you! That would be a spoiler.

Want more? Discuss this article and others on Show Patrol's Facebook page

Copyright © 2015, RedEye
Related Content
  • 'Furious 7': At this point, you know, whatever
    'Furious 7': At this point, you know, whatever

    Muscular, perpetually mumbling bowling pin Dominic Toretto (Human Aggro Crag Vin Diesel) doesn’t just prefer Corona, the beach-branded standard of Mexican beer-flavored water. He won’t even consider trying a Belgian Trappist ale, widely regarded as being among the world’s...

  • '5 to 7' is hot and bothered
    '5 to 7' is hot and bothered

    Not long after hordes of viewers hungry for some good, clean (dirty) spanking action flocked to “Fifty Shades of Grey,” a smaller, better movie comes along that actually contains, you know, passion between its characters.

  • 'While We're Young' is hilariously wise
    'While We're Young' is hilariously wise

    That’s so old-fashioned, Cornelia (Naomi Watts) remarks warmly when 20-somethings Jamie (Adam Driver) and Darby (Amanda Seyfried) say that they’re married. Then they add that their wedding took place in a water tower to the sounds of a mariachi band. And there was a slip...

  • Where do Emanuel, Garcia stand on the issues?
    Where do Emanuel, Garcia stand on the issues?

    Chicago's April 7 runoff election is looming, and there are plenty of people undecided about whether they'll hand Mayor Rahm Emanuel another term or go with the new guy—Cook County Commissioner Jesus "Chuy" Garcia. So we've rounded up the top issues and where the candidates stand to...

  • McDonald's raising its minimum wage, but some say it's not enough
    McDonald's raising its minimum wage, but some say it's not enough

    McDonald's plans to raise starting wages by $1 above the local minimum at select restaurants, just one of the changes on tap as the world's largest fast-food chain tries to win back customers and fend off a union-backed effort to raise pay throughout the industry.

  • Teen who got controversial heart transplant dies in crash during police chase
    Teen who got controversial heart transplant dies in crash during police chase

    An Atlanta area teenager who said a heart transplant two years ago gave him a second chance at life died this week when he lost control of the car he was driving while fleeing police, according to police records.

Comments
Loading