Monday, October 01, 2007

Don't Go Away, Renee

Was watching the premiere of Life the other day. You know, the NBC genre show with a British actor playing an American? Sorry, let me be more specific: the cop hour with Band of Brothers' Damian Lewis as a wrongfully imprisoned police officer who's out of the hoosegow and back on the force as a detective. (Not to be confused with Bionic Woman, starring Michelle Ryan, or Journeyman, starring Kevin McKidd—apparently, some casting director summered in the UK.)

So, our hero—who's so indelible I don't remember his name—is saddled with a partner. A sullen Latina who drinks too much, is muy promiscuous, has a father who won't talk to her, and might have had something to do with her dead partner.

In other words, she's Renee Montoya from Gotham Central, minus the homosexuality. And, since I think we can all agree that being gay is just one element of one's psychological makeup—and not even the most important—she's Renee Montoya.


I always wondered why no one moved on a Gotham Central TV show. Seems tailor-made. You've got a recognizable subject matter (inner-city police precinct), terrific characterization (the aformentioned Montoya is but one of a stellar cast), and the patina of newfangled glitz without ever having to show Batman if you don't want to. Or, you treat him the way he should be but never is: as a creature of shadow, who you never entirely see, but the spectre of whom hangs over everything.

I was told a few years ago that A) the powers that be wanted to save all the Bat-heat for the then-nascent Batman Begins and that B) Birds of Prey scared everyone off.

Which, honestly, is too bad.


Ken Lowery said...

Imagining Sarah Shahi as the Question is where it falls apart.

But I can't get much more objective than that. Any mention of her basically clouds my brain with lust so scorching it would melt the sun. So I'm pretty useless here.

Ami Angelwings said...

I have ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS wanted to see a Gotham Central TV show >_>

marc bernardin said...

I used to have that kind of TV lust for Carla Gugino. And then she was on Entourage, and it all went away...

Ken Lowery said...

I am amused it took so many people so long to figure out what I did about three episodes into Entourage: that it is total dude wish fulfillment, and that its treatment of the material lifestyle (reverent, but ultimately disposable) would translate to how it treated its female characters.

philippos42 said...

Tonight's ep of Life reveals that Sarah Shahi's character is half Persian. And her father is named Jack Reese presumably Welsh-American. So I guess she's not Latin.

But I thought she was Latina too.