DVD Review: RIZZOLI & ISLES The Complete First Season

Fox Home Entertainment

Rizzoli & Isles features the characters of NYT best-selling author Tess Gerritsen and stars Angie Harmon as Boston homicide detective Jane Rizzoli as well as Sasha Alexander as medical examiner Dr. Maura Isles. The two are best of buds, but totally different. Jane is a bit of tom boy (In the pilot, she puts on lipstick in hopes of looking nice for an FBI agent. When another cop comments on it, she hits him and tells him to shut up), while Dr. Isles always looks impeccable and is silky smooth.

Also Lorraine Bracco as Angela, Jane’s demanding and intrusive mother; Lee Thompson Young as Det. Barry Frost, Jane’s somewhat green partner; Bruce McGill as Det. Vince Korsak, Jane’s seasoned former partner; and Jordan Bridges as Jane’s brother, Frankie, a patrol cop who looks up to his sister and hopes to follow in her steps and become a detective.

While most of the cast does a fine job, Harmon, McGill and Bracco shine. Jane’s mother is constantly nagging her tom-boy daughter, but clearly wants only the best for her. A lesser actress would make the character totally unlikeable, but Lorraine’s performance is such that most of us can see aspects of our own mother in her.

The strongest part of the show is the casting, but after one full season, the show still does not feel like it has found it’s direction. The writers need to figure out just where the show is headed, work harder to build up the back stories and establish the show’s mythology. The cast seems to have chemistry and really fit their roles, but some characters seem to have little to do other than take up space and toss out a few lines. Despite that, the show is still fun and entertaining. If the writing improves, R&I could become a very compelling series.

Jeremy Lynch