This evening, the peacock network is premiering yet another remake of a British TV show, Prime Suspect. The original stars Helen Mirren as Jane Tennison, a no-nonsense British Detective Chief Inspector (DCI). NBC’s version stars Mario Bello as Detective Jane Timoney. Mirren played her role for 15 years. We’ll have to wait to see how long Bello lasts.
Here’s what the critics are saying:
San Francisco Chronicle: “Bello’s Timoney isn’t one-dimensional, but you can’t quite get a purchase on who she is. It’s one thing to create a conflicted character, but the conflicts need to have some credible interrelationship, and oftentimes, the only thing that holds Timoney’s identity together is Bello’s considerable acting skill. Even if we don’t entirely get her, we want to keep watching.”
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: “As Jane, Ms. Bello brings a crusty dedication to the role that serves her well. She’s only slightly younger than Ms. Mirren was when she originated the role in 1991, and Ms. Bello is not afraid to allow herself to look tired and worn, a necessary trait for the character.”
USA Today: “Give Maria Bello credit, if you like, for having the courage to take on a character so indelibly linked to one of the great actors of our time, Helen Mirren — and then take it away for the ridiculously behatted mash she and the show have made of the character.”
“Bello’s Jane is your typical, shockingly intuitive procedural cop, battling her own bad temper, a ridiculous “signature” fedora and the show’s heavy-handed approach to sexual politics — an approach that seems not to realize that 20 years have passed since the original.”
Boston Herald: “Like The Closer or The Good Wife, NBC’s new drama Prime Suspect hinges on the performance of one woman. Maria Bello stars as NYPD homicide Detective Jane Timoney in the series based on the British drama of the same name. The role feels like a natural fit for the actress — certainly more so than her previous TV parts on ER and Mr. & Mrs. Smith. Jane is edgy and clever without being affected.”
Chicago Tribune: “Bello’s new show will never fill the gumshoes of the original, partly because network TV audiences demand their cops solve crimes quickly, not over several episodes like the original did. I prefer the longer plotlines, but the new show quickly establishes its detective characters as fascinating individuals to watch.”
“Thanks to the rock solid performances of Bello, O’Byrne and co-stars that include Kirk Acevedo, Kenny Johnson and Chicago homeboys Tim Griffin and Aidan Quinn, Prime Suspect rises above the formula network procedurals that focus more on forensics than good, old-fashioned grunt detective work.”
What do you think? Will you be checking out Prime Suspect on NBC? What’s your gut feeling? Do you think it’ll survive to get renewed or will be quickly cancelled instead?
Image courtesy NBC.