Mysteries of Laura – To Binge or Not to Binge

The Mysteries of Laura - Season 2

Mysteries of Laura showed up via the auspices of a press release stating that the new season was starting. Having missed the premiere episode, the Debra Messing show was moved to a back burner till now.  After the initial question of whether to binge the entire first season to catch up on what was happening in the second season was broached and then ignored, the first three episodes of the series’ return to TV screens were viewed.

The verdict?

Excellent television with tight writing,  interesting characters, a good dose of humor (in all the right places) and mysteries that were…mysterious. Each episode needed solving, despite an “almost” armchair viewer discovery in episode one  The Mystery of the Taken BoyThis non-NYPD viewer guessed the kid’s sister had a part in the kidnapping, but, the girl was not a viable suspect, she just inadvertently provided the “in.”

Watching the entire first season of this series is not a requirement unless, after seeing the first three episodes, the new fan wants to go back to the beginning. The show is a revamping of a Spanish television series Los misterios de Laura which had a rocky history on a State owned channel before being re-imagined for a “gringo” audience.

Debra Messing stars as Laura Diamond, the ex-wife of  Jake Broderick (Josh Lucas), mother of twins and NYPD detective.  The cast of “Laura” is rounded out with Laz AlonsoJanina GavankarMax Jenkins as Billy Soto, Meredith Bose, and Max Carnegie respectively as well as Callie Thorne as the boss everyone despises Captain Santiani (or Santini as Laura continually calls her).

With a thumping “Miami Vice” type musical theme and some great Big Apple second unit shots for the opening credits (as well as throughout the episodes) Mysteries of Laura is a catchy program.  Not just because of the presence of Messing either. The Will and Grace star has proven that she can still do comedy plus she also has  some impressive “dramatic chops” that so many would kill for. However, this mystery of the week series has a more than capable cast who work brilliantly with the show’s star.

As the title suggests, each episode deals with a  mystery. Episode one was the mystery of a kidnapped boy (who was illegally adopted), two was a lonely woman who scammed friends with fake cancer (who was murdered) and three was the “locked room” death of a billionaire techno wunderkind.

In the latest episode, The Mystery of the Locked Box, the murder weapon was pretty well thought out by the show’s creator, (look away now if you have not watched this episode yet) a “murder drone” outfitted with razor sharp blades. Pretty ingenious.

The storylines are good; quite inventive and interesting. The interactions between the characters are humorous, and just as interesting as the storylines. Each person in the police bull pen feel like they have worked together, if not for years, at least long enough to have good cohesion.

Ms. Messing rocks it in the role (Sidenote, in watching episode 203, did anyone else notice what looked like a very poorly disguised bulge? Apparently it was rumored that Debra  Messing had a baby bump but now there appears to be some doubt as to her actually being pregnant. Watch episode three of season two…Baby bump.)  as the “mom” oriented detective who follows some impressive hunches.

Fans of mystery shows, which this is, will love this series. The setting may be the NYPD but the construction of the show is mystery, a’ la Agatha Christie.  Mysteries of Laura is procedural, to be sure, but this is not the focus of the show. That would be the dynamics of the players and the lead character’s ability to ferret out the clues that lead her and the police department  to the truth.

Secondary to the show’s main storyline is her juggling of home life and the show deals with this  aspect with humor. Speaking of humor, check out the “convenience” store scene with Messing and Lucas. This award winning actress easily combines subtle comedy with drama to give us a “mommy detective” with attitude. A real winning combination.

Mysteries of Laura airs Wednesdays on NBC. Catch this one for smooth television that delivers a huge dose of entertainment. Binging is not required, unless  you want to as this show is written well enough the viewer can pick things up fairly easily.

Author: Mike's Film Talk

Former Actor, Former Writer, Former Journalist, USAF Veteran, Former Member Nevada Film Critics Society

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