Monday, July 30, 2012

Monday Media - Rizzoli and Isles

Jane Rizzoli and Maura Isles are two unlikely friends/partners in solving crimes.
Jane is a detective for the Boston Police force, and Maura is a medical examiner.  Together they take on killers, dead bodies and violent crimes.  
Jane and Maura are unlikely friends and co-workers bc of their substantial differences...both professionally and personally.  Jane comes from a typical working class Catholic Italian Bostonian law enforcement family while Maura grew up with a silver spoon in her mouth, attended an Ivy League school and has traveled the world.  Jane falls back on her top notch street smarts while Maura uses her intellect.  Jane dresses like a cop and does not wear dresses or skirts, and Maura dresses in high fashion.  

As different as they are I like both of these characters.  As a matter of fact, when I tried to make myself choose one over the other, I couldn't.  Their differences, while substantial, actually complete the other, which is exactly what makes their friendship and this show, in its 3rd season on TNT, work.  

Jane is surrounded by family; her mother runs the cafe within the police department and one of her brothers is also an officer on the force working his way towards a detective shield.  Their personal lives are embedded within each episode, and it's clear that family, while aggravating at times, is vitally important to who Jane is.   She is tough, a tomboy, (an incredibly natural beauty) and a go-getter when it comes to getting criminals off the street.  Jane spends a lot of time trying to get Maura to relax and see things for just what they are.  She is protective of Maura; while she appreciates Maura's curiosity for policework, Jane realizes that Maura is no tough girl.

Maura, on the other hand, is not at all involved in her family.  She was given up for adoption and has only recently met her birth mother.  The meeting did not end well, and Maura's heart was broken.  She is an academic 100%, even analyzing the dating habits and family dynamics of the Rizzoli's from time to time.  Maura is a girlie girl, loves to dress up, and almost seems to like "playing" with the police.  Their jobs interest her and she likes being on the front end of the crime solving whenever possible, even though from time to time she finds herself in over her head when it comes to people who are still alive.  There is no question to the importance of Maura's intellect, however, when it comes to tying killers to their bodies.  Maura's encyclopedic knowledge of the human body, its intricacies, and natural history is what usually brings things to a close in their investigations.

See, how am I supposed to choose between these two?
I think that's the point actually.  

Another fabulous character in this series is Jane's mother played by iconic actress Larraine Bracco.  How can you first of all not love this actor??  Her portrayal of Jane, Tommy and Tony's mom, a newly divorced woman, trying to re-invent herself surrounded by two of her grown children, dancing the dance between being involved in their lives and being too involved in their lives and still trying to take care of everyone around her is spectacular and believable to a "T."

Rizzoli and Isles is another TNT series that I began watching from the middle and is based on the books by Tess Gerittson.  I have not read the books, and that makes me sad bc it breaks my self-imposed "read the book, watch the movie/series after" rule.  
But, like the series Bones and the Kathy Reichs books, I became involved with the tv series before I heard very much about the books.  So there.  That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.

Anybody out there read the books and watch the show?  Are they similar (Showtime's Dexter, HBO's True Blood) or completely different except for the character names (Fox's Bones)?


  1. I have all of the Rizzoli & Isles books. I have read about about 6 out 10 of them. They are really good, and I feel the tv characters are really close to the book. You do have slight differences at time, I guess they had to make more appealing and add others. But for the most part pretty good.

    1. I love a good series :) Can't wait to get started on this one!

  2. I don't watch much television, but this sounds like something that I would like and follow. Thanks for sharing your experience with this series with us. It sounds like one that I shouldn't miss!

    1. It's a lot of fun! The mystery/detective stuff is all there but the more important family and friendship issues are blended very nicely as well.

    2. I agree, regardless of what happens to them they always seem to make it work.