MURDER IN SUBURBIA

Starring: Caroline Catz, Lisa Faulkner

Format: Cable TV 1-hour program on BBCAmerica (Monday Nights).

Genre: Mystery/Crime

Reviewed by Cherie Jung

I suppose it was only a matter of time. We've had murder in the city, murder in the country, and now we have murder in the suburbs. What's left?

This show just doesn't hold my interest. Not that I think the suburbs can't be a tangle of deceit, lies, passion, and death. Husbands killing wives, wives throttling husbands, angry neighbors whacking each other over the head with various blunt objects, shovels, or stabbing each other with sharp pointy knives, for that matter. I'll grant you there's plenty of time and opportunity for deadly mayhem in most suburbs but...this series makes blackmail, jealousy, greed and the other preludes to murder boring. By the time the two detectives get the clues and the witnesses sorted out, I don't care who did the killing, or who got killed.

Detective Inspector Kate Ashurst (Caroline Catz) is teamed with Detective Sergeant Emma Scribbins (Lisa Faulkner). Neither seem credible as cops to me, let alone at the Detective Inspector and Detective Sergeant ranks. What is supposed to pass for lively banter between the two quickly gets on my nerves. "Ash" doesn't approve of the men Scribbins dates, especially the married ones. She also doesn't approve of the sloppy way Scribbins dresses. Rather than coming across as a "street-smart" cop as was intended, Scribbins comes across to me as a frumpy, disorganized mess playing at being a cop. As for "Ash," I find her equally annoying. Very stiff and wooden. If I were their commanding officer, I'd reassign both of them to traffic detail. They could bicker all they want as they write out parking tickets.

There's not much substance to any of the investigations or murders. It's pretty obvious early on who did what to whom. And every time I watch this show, I think of at least half a dozen other detective duos who would be more interesting to watch solve the case than these two.

Still, it fills the hour between the end of "Waking the Dead" and the repeat showing of "Waking the Dead" so I suppose that is something. Although it's rather a sad commentary on the quality of programing available on cable TV isn't it? All those channels and nothing else to watch.

For now, the only way to view this series is on BBCAmerica (cable TV) on Monday nights. Check your local listings for time. It airs at 8 p.m. Pacific Standard time.

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