It’s been a long time since I felt any great affection for Rizzoli & Isles. After an ambiguously gay, often amusing season one, Jane and Maura underwent bizarre character lobotomies in season two, and gone were the red-wine-in-bed-together escapades, gone was Maura’s sensitive quirkiness, and gone was Jane Rizzoli’s unwavering loyalty. In place of all the things I enjoyed about the show, we not only got frustratingly uncharacteristic behavior from both Jane and Maura, we also got a sudden barrage of male love interests for both characters. From car mechanics, fellow police officers, murdering socialites, to Jane’s own brother, it was like Janet Tamaro and/or someone at TNT pulled a lever labeled “penises” and it rained schlongs all over our fun little unknowingly lesbian buddy cop show.
So what were we left with? Yet another crime procedural, except with bad Boston accents. I stopped DVRing Rizzoli & Isles about midway through the second season, and that is usually the death knell for me and a television show.
There are a couple of reasons I decided to give it another go. The main one is that there have been assurances (both in print and on twitter) from the R&I people that this season gets back to Jane/Maura and what made the show work so well – their undeniable chemistry. I’m not expecting them to make out any time soon, as this is one of the few shows I think works fine just being subtextual (more on that with the updated Rizzoli & Isles Drinking Game, coming soon), but I do expect them to not act like man-chasing jerks. If they want to have a few sleepovers in the process, I won’t complain. After the third friend texted me following the season opener to remark how gay the show is, I knew it was time to report for duty.
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