Turner Week: Take a second look at RIZZOLI & ISLES

This week, we’re going to celebrate some of the great Turner Network (and TBS) shows and give them a second chance to find a following.  Up first is TNT’s RIZZOLI & ISLES, starring the lovely Angie Harmon and Sasha Alexander as Jane (Rizzoli) and Maura (Isles), best friends and crimefighters in Boston.  Jane is a cop; Maura is an ME.  Jane is tomboy-ish; Maura is not.

The official description from TNT:

RIZZOLI & ISLES follows Boston detective Jane Rizzoli (Harmon) and medical examiner Maura Isles (Sasha Alexander), complete opposites and good friends who solve crimes and bust some of Boston’s most notorious criminals. Growing up at opposite ends of the economic spectrum, the two remain strikingly different from one another in many ways. Jane, the only female detective in Boston’s homicide division, is a tough and gutsy cop who doesn’t let her guard down (except with Maura), dodges her overprotective mother and is better at basketball than her brother. Maura, meanwhile, is usually more comfortable among the dead than the living. She is always impeccably dressed in designer duds with a steady, sometimes icy temperament. And she is working on curbing her tendency to diagnose the people she meets – including her first dates. Jane and Maura often find themselves working together as both use their brilliant minds and expertise to figure out the “who done it” as well as the “how done it” of Boston’s most complex cases.

Despite their many differences, Jane and Maura are best friends, with a quirky and supportive relationship. As Tamaro explains, “That Jane and Maura are so different and yet so effective as a team makes them unusual. There’s something rare about their relationship that I see in the world but not enough on television: two smart, strong, competent women who instinctively drop the protective shield when they’re with each other.”

RIZZOLI & ISLES also stars Lorraine Bracco (The Sopranos) as Angela, Jane’s demanding and intrusive mother; Lee Thompson Young (FlashForward) as Det. Barry Frost, Jane’s somewhat green partner; Bruce McGill (Law Abiding Citizen) as Det. Vince Korsak, Jane’s seasoned former partner; and Jordan Bridges (Dawson’s Creek) as Jane’s brother, Frankie, a patrol cop who hopes one day to become a detective.

On tonight’s all new episode, Jane goes undercover when a hate crime leads to the brutal murder of a woman leaving a lesbian bar.  In personal-life news, Maura decides to hook Jane up with her yoga instructor.  Why do I think you should watch the show?  I think that Harmon and Alexander have a great friendship chemistry and I think it’s an easy way to pass an hour of TV time.  Also?  Catch up on the series and see a great guest star turn by (one of my favorites) Donnie Wahlberg and Mark Paul Gosselaar!  Great cast, solid story, solid ratings – it’s a show you should check out.

If you’re watching, leave a comment to tell us why; if you want to start, tell us what you’re looking forward to.  One winner will be picked at random to receive a Tess Gerritsen novel – her Rizzoli and Isles novels are the basis of the show and are quick and easy reads!


  • Still not completely sold on this show as of yet. It reminds me a lot of “Crossing Jordan” (maybe the Boston setting/accents), but I don’t think they’ve explored enough of the actual characters yet–such as how these two actually know each other and their history together. I’m still confused by their relationship–are they friends? I like Isles, but sometimes it’s like she’s a bit out of the pop-culture loop, like Bones or Sheldon Cooper. Also, just throwing it out that if they dropped Lorraine Bracco, I wouldn’t be sad. 🙂

  • Ali

    I like the dynamic — but I’m unsure if it’s just another formulaic drama, or it’s has it’s own quirk yet. I watch a ton of 1 hour scripteds because I love them – Leverage, Lie to Me, White Colllar, Psych, Burn Notice, The Closer, Saving Grace, The Glades, Criminal Minds, NCISetc – and I’m always willing to add another to my bank — but I’m not sure Rizzoli & Isles has the holding power yet… but I’ll probably watch the whole first season before coming to a conclusion. I’d love to read the book.