Prime Suspect USA
written in 2012
This is the American remake of the original British Detective series Prime suspect. Which had Helen Mirren as the Chief Policewoman. I am not familiar with the original myself. I do know that it was very popular and quite famous at the time fore Helen Mirren’s character as a hard drinking chain smoking straight talking Policewoman.
Helen Mirren I hear was subject as her character to sexism from her fellow male Police officer. Nothing major, just some old fashioned attitudes. Which I am pretty sure she vanquished along the way. Being Helen Mirren and all.
Jane Timoney is Helen Mirren’s counterpart in the USA version, Detective Timoney. The sexism present in the updated version however seems dated. More like the 70’s. In fact the men in it seem to have escaped from that period. A couple from the 90’s perhaps.
The men in Prime Suspect USA are outright rude and obnoxious. They sem to be caricatures of men. They are forever making ha de har locker room type jokes and acting like they are in some men’s club meeting whilst sipping whiskey from mugs intermittently.
It is hard to believe that this would really be the way men went on in a modern city Police as Detectives in the year 2012.
Perhaps so. Possibly without any women in their unit the men have become used to doing their own thing.
Jane takes it in meek silence for a while. it is unclear whether she is meant to be the head of the Unit as Helen Mirren was. Eventually she just takes control of one investigation verbally by talking loud.
Jane’s main strategy is to just ignore an outright rude comment or rejection of her ideas. I guess she has to prove herself as per Cop trope. Which she does. Because she is tough physically, can chase down (perpetrators) perps, find the mad demented murderer from some arcane esoteric clue that nobody thought of and so on.
Gradually the stiff unbending resistance to her presence e from the men unfolds a little but Jane’s partner, Duffy, takes longer. He expresses outright rejection of Jane in the beginning.
However we come to understand slowly that Duffy is in fact grieving for his parter who was murdered.
yes that Detective trope.
We are also I think meant to feel sorry for him since he lives with his Mum. A no no for men in Dramas. Often signifying a serial killer.
Duffy is a bit innocent around women and unused to any female attention apparently since he completely misunderstands a young pretty female Detective asking for some help on a case. This is at work I may add.
Duffy gets all flustered and goes and steals one of the men’s spare shirts to wear when he next sees the Detective. When actually the female Detective has met Jane and is impressed with her cool demeanour and super duper Detective skills and keeps popping by to try and see Jane to show her a case she is working on.
Jane is super cool. She is superfly. She wears a blue trilby hat and at first tries very hard not to smoke. Jane has a cool Dad, an ex-Cop naturally who runs a cool bar. Where Jane hangs out and slurps whiskey like a visiting cool cowboy.
Jane help out her Dad and looks after him and we find out over time her Mum was an alcoholic who drove out one night and died in a car crash, drunk.
The story of Duffy deepens as we discover that he has taken the role or protector to his dead partner’s wife and family so seriously that he has come to love his children. Duffy looks after his mother and has spend months painstakingly carving a wooden sailing boat for one of the children’s up coming birthday. It has sails and everything.
Duffy we come to understand just has not been out and about much or around women and hence has no confidence.
In a heartbreaking scene for Duffy we see his ex-partner’s wife come into the station to speak with the Chief to tell him she is leaving just to get away from Duffy! To officially make a new start. She doesn’t have the heart to tell Duffy.
The Police Chief comes over to break the news as Duffy who is already with the treasured wooden boat to give to the little boy. Ah. We never did find out what happened to that boat.
I liked Prime suspect however it was cancelled after one series. I heard that there were adverse comments about Jane’s Trilby.
For another series with a wise-cracking hard-boiled Detective in it a little like Jane:
In Plain Sight-Universal Channel-number 137 on Virgin TV is greater than the sum of it’s parts. Featuring an excellent duo of snarling super sarcastic Federal Agent and her partner cracking world weary cynical philosophical intellectual dialogue. They are both Witness Protection Agents. There is a syrupy sidebar of human interest saved by excellent turns by the secondary characters.