Welcome to January, TV.com readers. It's officially the midseason, which means a deluge of new TV shows will soon be hitting your TV screens. Some will be worth a look, and some won't, but the bigger question is this: How do you find the time to figure out which is which? I'm glad you asked, because I'm here to help! Next up in our trusty Hey TV.com, Should I Watch [X] Show? series is ABC's Killer Women. The network has been home to over-the-top dramas for awhile now, so the series should fit right in between the likes of Revenge, Scandal, and Grey's Anatomy. But should you watch it? Read on to find out.
Killer Women... is this a show about a gang of female serial killers?
Oh, how I wish that's what the show was about; I'd watch the hell out of a show about a gang of female serial killers! Especially if it was a reality series. But unfortunately, Killer Women is a by-the-numbers procedural disguised as a pretty lady who's about to rob you of an hour of your time. It follows a lone female Texas Ranger on an elite squad that's committed to justice as she takes down (literal) lady killers. She's painted as a badass who gets shit done while her male colleagues look down on her for being a woman. Welcome to Texas! (J/K I love you, Texas. Texas forever.)
All right, so who created Killer Women, and who's in it?
The promos really want to drive home the fact that Killer Women is from executive producer Sofia Vergara, as if she's some sort of goddess of TV creation. ABC probably would've been better off if it'd played up the return to television of Battlestar Galactica's Tricia Helfer as Molly Parker, the ballsy Texas Ranger at the center of the series. The role reunites Helfer with former BSG co-star Michael Trucco, who plays Molly's brother Billy. The rest of the cast includes Alex Fernandez as a father-figure Ranger who knew Molly's dad, Marta Milans as Billy's wife Becca, Jeffrey Nordling as Molly's jerk ex-husband, and Marc Blucas (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) as a DEA agent and Molly's current beau. Also, The League's Nadine Velazquez makes for a nice guest-star in the pilot, and Brad Leland (Friday Night Lights' Buddy Garrity) appears briefly because he's contractually obligated to appear in every series about Texas.
When do the women start killing?
Killer Women premieres Tuesday, January 7 at 10pm. That puts it up against Person of Interest on CBS and Chicago Fire on NBC, as well as the Season 5 premieres of Justified and Cougar Town on FX and TBS, respectively.
Who might enjoy Killer Women?
Fans of Sofia Vergara, probably. See also: people who don't want to think too hard about TV, people who don't require heavily serializes plots, people who don't mind too much when a series is only half as good as it could be.
What's killer about Killer Women?
If I'm being honest, I really liked Marc Blucas as DEA agent Dan Winston. His character's relationship with Parker isn't remotely new or even that exciting—they bed each other and use each other for information while dancing around their feelings—but dammit if Blucas and his facial hair didn't win me over somehow. I guess time heals all wounds, Riley Finn. For Battlestar Galactica fans, it's fun to see Helfer back on TV playing another badass (or at least someone who's described as being one, even if she doesn't actually come off that way), especially with Trucco popping in every now and then as her brother.
What should maybe be killed about Killer Women?
Unfortunately, a lot. The pilot is so matter-of-fact that it casts Killer Women as just another boring procedural with flat caricatures and poorly done southern accents. There isn't enough meat to the first case—about a woman who kills an assistant district attorney on her wedding day—to make viewers feel invested in the outcome. All the core characters seem like one-note archetypes, and series opener didn't provide much of reason to care about them.
There's a lot of talk about Molly being a fierce Ranger, someone who's not to be trifled with, but for most of the first hour, that's all it is: talk. Even when the series attempts to actually show us that Molly's a badass—like when it puts a gun in her hands as she makes a rescue attempt—it falls flat. It's not that Helfer can't handle the material; after all, this is the woman who breathed life into several different versions of Number Six on Battlestar Galactica. No, the problem is that the material isn't there in the first place, as the writing leaves plenty to be desired. For fans hoping to see Helfer in a new and exciting role, Killer Women is probably going to be a letdown.
However: Despite everything you just read, this isn't necessarily a bad show. If the writing improves in future episodes, the series could evolve into a fun Tuesday-night ride, with plenty of action and sexiness. But for now, it feels a bit like a campy series from the 1990s instead of the badass-in-2014 that it wants to be.
So gimme a verdict—should I watch it?
As hard as it is for me to say this, because I really want to see Helfer succeed, you'd be better off skipping this one. If you want a series featuring a badass protagonist who looks good in boots and a hat, watch Justified. If want a series with a strong female character who looks good with a gun in her hands, you'd be better off waiting 'til summer, when you can spend some time with Helfer's real-life BFF and former BSG castmate Katee Sackhoff in A&E's Western series Longmire.
I think I might like to see a trailer before I make my final decision.
You got it, dude.
Killer Women premieres Tuesday, January 7 at 10pm on ABC.
AIRED ON 3/30/2014
Season 1 : Episode 8