“It’s All About the Club”

There are times I’m hesitant to review a show only because I’m enjoying it so much that I hate to have to “go to work” when I’m watching it. One show was Life and the other entry this Fall television season is Women’s Murder Club.

Based on the best-selling series of books by James Patterson, Women’s Murder Club revolves around the lives of a Fantastic Foursome of women in San Francisco – a homicide detective (Inspector Lindsay Boxer – Angie Harmon); an assistant district attorney (Jill Bernhardt – Laura Harris); a medical examiner (Dr. Claire Washburn – Paula Newsome); and, newest member, a newspaper reporter (Cindy Thomas – Aubrey Dollar). Though they each have separate and distinct lives—and they bring their own “super power” to the table—they are bound by friendship.

It doesn’t have enough grit that one would expect from a Patterson product or any crime procedural, though I suspect that is what the ongoing serial killer storyline is about. But the show also juggles a cavalcade of a soap opera-esque cast of characters: ex-lovers, tough bosses, soon-to-be wives to the aforementioned lovers and bosses, not to mention any other spouses and significant others currently in the picture (each with their accompanying story).

Harmon continues to distract me with her acting: it’s like she doesn’t know what to do with her hands. Her strident and cool character is more believable as a cop than as a prosecutor (though don’t get me wrong: she was my second favorite ADA in Law & Order’s history). Her relationship with her partner, Warren (Tyrees Allen) is one of the highlights of the show. With her husky voice and abrasive manner, she fights her way through the boys’ club of the police squad.

“I don’t want to die period. Why are we even talking about this?” –Inspector Lindsay Boxer

Women’s Murder Club is a procedural to a point, revolving around their relationships more than the cases. The ladies long ago realized that their lives, both personal and work, were better lived in community, muddling through what life throws at them together rather than on their own. The reality is that we have spheres of friendship which are defined by levels of intimacy and long to be a part of a close knit community though they are forged over time – a mix of chemistry and history that leads to intimacy. We have those folks in closest orbit to us (the smallest circle of friends) and as we move away in levels of intimacy, those spheres include more and more people. Many of us are afraid to put ourselves “out there,” To risk possible rejection, to be vulnerable, to open ourselves up – to do the things that developing intimacy requires. However, we can all stand to be better friends, to learn how to peer out of our spheres of self-involvement and self-focus. Good friendships rare enough and should be treasured when you find them.

Women’s Murder Club has a sense of humor with very much a woman’s perspective to it. There’s plenty of “girl talk” and chocolate at the end of the day (and beginning of the day and many times during the course of an investigation). Yes, it is NYPD Blue meets C.S.I. meets Grey’s Anatomy and the show often feels the growing pains of a show trying to find it’s unique voice from such a pastiche. Consider this my Friday night guilty pleasure.

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