Is it possible for two mismatched Private Investigators to work together without driving each other crazy? That’s part of the premise behind TNT’s new show “King & Maxwell,” which followed two private investigators who each had their own way of solving cases. Sometimes, the results were familiar, but the slowly developing rapport between the main cast members has made up for the routine cases.
“King & Maxwell” followed two disgraced former Secret Service Agents who opened their own PI business together once they lost their jobs due to shocking circumstances. Sean King (Jon Tenney) lost his job with the Secret Service after the person he was supposed to protect was killed by an assassin. He was just surprised of the cover-up afterwards that made him think that the assassination wasn’t truly his fault. After he left the Secret Service, Sean got his law degree, which comes in handy whenever he was in trouble. Sean’s partner Michelle Maxwell (Rebecca Romijn) came from a family of cops and was struggling to adjust to losing her job over one mistake. Unfortunately, Sean and Michelle constantly ran into interference from FBI Agents Carter (Chris Butler) and Rigby (Michael O’Keefe) whenever a case managed to get too complicated. Luckily, Sean and Michelle had Edgar Roy (Ryan Hurst) who served as an accountant/technology genius whenever it was necessary. Will Michelle stay in business with Sean if she gets the chance to return to the Secret Service? Will Sean be able to find out the truth behind what happened on his last Secret Service detail?
In terms of questions, the show had one big conspiracy theory that involved Sean’s last protection assignment. This story could take years to unfold or end up being resolved by the end of the season. The show’s writers should play their cards right by drawing out for more than a season, but not letting it take too long to resolve because viewers might not care anymore by the time the truth comes out. The stories should also focus on the weekly cases and the character development between the core cast members. Another show sticking point that impacted the early episodes was the fact that the tone was a little off-balance between action movie, buddy comedy and romantic comedy. The show wisely took away the possibility of the romantic comedy element between King and Maxwell because it didn’t make sense for the show or the actors playing them. Tenney and Romijn did have a decent rapport that should remain friendly for the foreseeable future, unless it was absolutely necessary to do so. The episodes have managed to deliver a lightly comedic tone that was similiar to “Leverage” without the beyond silly cons and fight scenes. The show had one fight scene in a recent episode that had resolved rather humorously with one thug hanging out of a trash can upside down. Let’s hope that the rest of the season continued to follow the same tone to keep viewers interested.
As for breakout performances, Tenney and Hurst led the pack as two very different guys who managed to maintain a unique friendship that will help to balance the show’s overall comedic tone. Tenney usually played Sean as a fast talking professional, but he sometimes gave him a hidden level of sadness that viewers have only caught glimpses of. It was wise to give Tenney a chance to shine in his own separate story as he explored the secrets behind the assassination that destroyed his life. Hopefully, Tenney will continue to get the chance to shine with other cast members as well as with Romijn. Hurst, on the other hand, was tasked with playing a very different role from his days on “Sons of Anarchy” where he was more of the smart guy than the tough one. It was a nice change of pace to see Hurst tackling a very different role, but he hasn’t gotten as much of a chance to shine on his own just yet. That should change with Edgar’s developing relationship with one of Sean’s informants. It’s too early to tell whether Romijn was the right choice to portray Michelle, because she seemed a little out of place in earlier episodes but she has gotten much better as the season has progressed. Only time will tell if that should remain the case.
“King & Maxwell” premiered on June 10th and airs Mondays at 10:00 PM on TNT.
Verdict: A show that got off to a rocky start, but it has gotten better with each passing episode once it figured out what tone it should follow.
TV Score: 2 out of 5 stars
1 Star (Mediocre)
2 Stars (Averagely Entertaining)
3 Stars (Decent Enough to Pass Muster)
4 Stars (Near Perfect)
5 Stars (Gold Standard)