‘King & Maxwell’ Pilot Recap: “Stick to Lost Dogs and Jealous Husbands”

From the network that brings you such inexplicably popular mediocrities as ‘Rizzoli & Isles’ and ‘Franklin & Bash’ comes TNT’s latest primetime filler drama about a pair of adorably quirky detective investigators, ‘King & Maxwell’. This one stars Rebecca Romijn, who is very pretty and nice to look at. Hence my reason for giving it the benefit of one episode. I will not make that mistake again.

The series is allegedly based on a series of novels by bestselling author David Baldacci. I’ve never read any of Baldacci’s books. I hope they’re not this lame, but I have better things to do with my time than to find out.

Well, to be fair, I just wasted an hour of my life watching the premiere of this show, so maybe I don’t have better things to do.

Romijn and Jon Tenney (from TNT’s ‘The Closer’ and ‘Major Crimes’) play the title characters, Michelle Maxwell and Sean King. They have ridiculously convoluted backstories about being former Secret Service agents who now work as Washington, D.C. private investigators. King is also a lawyer, and a former alcoholic who failed to protect the life of a Presidential candidate he was guarding. Maxwell had something going on in her past too, but I don’t remember the details even though I just watched the episode ten minutes before writing this. To be honest, I tuned out pretty early.

The ‘Pilot’ episode begins with a reasonably amusing teaser sequence in which Maxwell (the badass of the pair) has a car chase with a bus being driven by a guy in a beaver costume. The reason for that has something to do with the guy trying to blackmail a Senator whose wife is into Furries. The scene is just a one-off joke that has nothing to do with anything, and it’s the high point of the episode.

The bulk of the plot concerns the murder of an attorney friend of King’s, who was defending an accused serial killer. The alleged killer turns out to be a Rain Man autistic savant embroiled in an elaborate conspiracy involving two competing defense contractors and the corrupt Secretary of Homeland Security. In a fortuitous bit of good timing for the show, he worked for one of the contractor firms on a top secret surveillance project that sounds an awful lot like PRISM. The other contractor framed him as a murderer in order to discredit the competition and win a big government job.

Blah blah blah, none of this means anything. The way the episode depicts anything to do with computers, even things as basic as email or Googling simple information, is completely stupid BS written by someone who probably still accesses his AOL account through a WebTV, but who caught ‘The Net’ on cable one afternoon and mistook it for a documentary. The big climax, which takes place at a super high-tech government facility called “The Wall” that is of course located in an abandoned warehouse in the middle of nowhere with no security or staff at all, is absurdly silly. It has a single operator chair with separate touch-screen keypads on both arm rests for the sole purpose of looking “futuristic,” even though absolutely no one would ever find it useful to type that way. The data is collated on a wall of video monitors that only Rain Man is capable of deciphering, which he does faster and more accurately than all the supercomputers in the entire world put together. Because, as far as the writers know, that’s what autism is.

In the midst of this, King and Maxwell banter banter banter, and trade some tepid sexual tension that will probably pay off in Season 12 when the writers run out of any other ideas and finally let the characters hop into bed together.

The show is awful. Really, really awful. I regret watching it. I will never do so again. It will no doubt be a huge hit that runs on TNT forever.


  1. That’s a shame Tenney (Been a fan of his and always recognize him, but never knew his name til now) was awesome in The Closer and to be honest he is hardly in Major Crimes. Hope they remedy that this year.

    They should have spun His char on the Closer into his own series, I like Major Crimes but would have watched something with his char as well.

  2. I completely agree, such tripe! Rebecca (whatever) can’t act nor can she run! watching her character run after the suspect was laughable! Jon Tenney seem awkward like he doesn’t want to be there and he’s gotten heavy, which is fine but if the two characters hook-up it wouldn’t be believable. Poorly written and poorly acted. i will not watch again.

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