Television Review: King & Maxwell (2013)

Title: King & Maxwell
Production Year(s): 2013 (cancelled on a cliff-hanger).
Episodes: 10
Categories / Themes: crime, private investigation, mystery, conspiracy.
Cast: Jon Tenney as Sean King, Rebecca Romijn as Michelle Maxwell, Ryan Hurst as Edgar Roy, Michael O’Keefe as FBI Agent Frank Rigby, Chris Butler as FBI Agent Darius Carter, Dichen Lachman as Benny.

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This show is based on the Sean King & Michelle Maxwell series of books by well known author, David Baldacci. King & Maxwell are private investigators, formerly government agents. One of the primary plot lines of the show is King’s obsession with an assassination, his reason for leaving the secret service. I haven’t actually read any of the books, nor have I read any of Baldacci’s other work. However, the first book has been something I’ve wanted to read for a while, even if I only did just add it on my Goodreads to read list.

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The characters are pretty easily enjoyable for me. They all have little quirks and bits that make them somewhat unique and light hearted. Sean King has a distrust of guns since the shooting which ended his career. It kind of reminds me of (the old version) MacGyver in a way; both he and King find ways to get about their business without the need for one. I think his part is fairly well written and, though I don’t necessarily enjoy the plot line of the assassination and the way it overruns the entire season, I do think that his character development works well. Michelle Maxwell, despite being one of two titular characters, doesn’t seem to get as much storyline as King does. However, I do like that she has a lot of personality. She’s smart and often uses cleverness to get an outcome. Her background is that her father is estranged and much of her family is in law enforcement, but I feel that’s somewhat stereotypical, which is just my opinion. Edgar Roy is a great character and felt that Ryan Hurst played him really well. Especially considering that I’m more familiar with Hurst from Sons of Anarchy. Edgar Roy is a complete 180 in terms of personality. I know a few people with Asperger’s syndrome and feel that, in my perspective, Hurst got the nuances of autism quite accurate. Benny is not an official member of the team, but I like that she has a lot to offer. She’s sort of a criminal and she offers great intelligence to help catch the criminals. Also, I remember her from her time on Neighbours. Is that weird? I didn’t like her character on Neighbours, but feel that she’s a pretty decent (meaning no offense) actress. Benny is a great character and I love the way she interacts with Edgar.

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My consideration of the plot is that the mysteries are fairly interesting. There are some fairly generic storylines for a private investigation series. For example, Episode 07, “Family Business” reminds me quite a bit of an episode I had seen of The Mentalist. Having said that, there are also some really unique points as well. In terms of story, I think there could have been a little more creativity put into the writing of the show, but I think the cases they worked on were fairly well developed and they made sense. One thing that didn’t necessarily make a lot of sense is why the government officials eventually began working and sharing information with the characters. The information given was often something I would consider to be private information. Not classified, but not something a law enforcement official might be sharing with a private investigator. Again, I didn’t necessarily like the assassination plot; I’m not a fan of revenge (and similar) plots in media. It just doesn’t make sense to me that a character would spend so much time investigating the conspiracy that ruined their life. Yes, they want to know the solution to a mystery that plagues them, but ultimately all you’re doing is wasting more of your time, money and effort on it.

Overall, I think it’s a pity that the show was cancelled; I think the series could have been developed better later on. However, I can certainly see why the decision was made; it needed improvement and there are a lot of television shows similar to it already.

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I am not being paid, nor do I receive and funds, for this post. It’s just an honest review of a show I like.

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