First impressions: RIZZOLI & ISLES.

After considerable fanfare, RIZZOLI & ISLES debuted on TNT.

The series features the characters of NYT bestselling author Tess Gerritsen and stars Angie Harmon (LAW & ORDER) as Boston homicide detective Jane Rizzoli as well as Sasha Alexander (NCIS) 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.

Having watched it twice…sort of (I will go into that in a minute), I thought I would share my initial thoughts on the pilot.

The storyline was clichéd. A sinister serial killer that Jane locked up has an apprentice carrying on his work. Jane barely survived their previous encounter and is haunted by it. She confronts the McNasty and he channels Hannibal Lector just a little too much.

Despite this, I enjoyed it quite a bit. Harmon is very charismatic and Lorraine Bracco (THE SOPRANOS) is great as Angie Rizzoli, Jane’s protective, nagging mother. The scenes (or scene, if you watched the replay…more on that shortly) they had together were fun and many a person can sympathize with Jane.

I did not get too much of the bond between Isles and Rizzoli, but that certainly may come in the future. The supporting cast was fine, but the show will ultimately succeed or fail based on Angie Harmon. If the pilot is any indication, I expect it will do just fine.

The show’s premiere was a massive hit, with a record-breaking (for basic cable) audience of 7.6 million viewers.

Now onto my beef: Tonight, I watched a recording of the replay and was really thrown off. At first, I thought I was remembering scenes out of order, only to realize THEY CUT SCENES. That is right, after having a huge debut, they chopped out scenes so as to fit more commercials in. WTF?

One of these scenes shows Jane, after previously complaining, starting to accept a dog that she will come to have as a pet. Another is between Jane and her mother, with Momma Angie talking about her fears with Jane being a cop and that Jane’s younger brother, a rookie cop, idolizes her and wants to be just like her.

If we were talking about a rerun down the line, I MIGHT understand it. But the show is still brand new and chopping the hell out of it right off the bat is just downright stupid.

After just one episode, I am not quite ready to proclaim R&I a great show and one that all should watch, but it shows promise and is worth another go around. Based on what I saw, I would give it a B- with the potential for more.