TV Review - Rosewood (2015) (Premiere Week)

Morris Chestnut is a beautiful, black actor who trades a lot on his dashing good looks and charm. He played somewhat against type in Nurse Jackie in which he guest-starred as a cocky doctor. This series has him again as a cocky doctor but one who's almost entirely intolerable.

It's pointed out how brilliant his smile is and how it's too big. Sadly, every time he does smile, it follows him saying something too smart for anyone's own good, delivered with an air of arrogance, which makes him come across as such a douche-bag, which I don't think is the intention.

Chestnut stars as Beaumont Rosewood, aka Rosie, a pathologist who runs his own private practice, which employs his lesbian sister and her fiancee. He mainly consults with Miami's police department to solve mysterious deaths. The reluctant, female detective with whom he partners is Annalise Villa, played by Jaina Lee Ortiz.

She's resistant to being bothered by him. Yet, he's gung-ho about bothering her. He is aggressively annoying in that regard. He and creator Todd Harthan might think Chestnut is being sexy or engaging, but, despite his gorgeous face and body, he is highly unattractive and off-putting, as well as a bit of a creep.

Richard Shepard won the Emmy for directing the pilot episode of Ugly Betty. He's also a regular director for HBO's Girls. Shepard directs this episode here, and he is perhaps trying to bring the same sense of humor to this police procedural. Unfortunately, it just doesn't work.

Yes, the show is set in Miami. It might not be filmed there. It could be shot in Los Angeles. Regardless, it doesn't provide better locales or exteriors that look any more impressive than shows like Dexter or Nip/Tuck.

Even if it was a show that was all about its interiors, the lab scenes aren't convincing. Chestnut is a good actor and I could buy him as a scientist, despite being a man who looks like he spends more time in a gym than in a lab. Sadly, I don't buy him as the scientist here. He just looks like a pretty model reading medical jargon given to him a minute before.

Michael C. Hall had a muscular body in Dexter, but when he was doing his job, the scientific stuff, he sold it a thousand times better. If Chestnut's character weren't so unappealing in other ways, then maybe the show would be watchable.

An interrogation scene is extremely boring. It tries to be cute and witty, but it feels so clunky and had me checking my watch. I don't like the chemistry between Chestnut and Ortiz or lack thereof. Obviously, there's a Bones or Castle trajectory for these characters, but those shows had stronger starts and more likable dynamics. This show doesn't.

One Star out of Five.
Rated TV-14-LV.
Running Time: 1 hr.
Wednesdays at 8PM on FOX.

Note: This show is being reviewed as part of a series of one-episode reviews during premiere week, which for the major TV networks runs from late September to early October.


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