“Rizzoli & Isles” premiered earlier this year on TNT, I've
been looking for people to join me in skewering the program.
Certainly I'm not the only nerd who's been flagging flaws in the
local nuances, many of which slipped through the cracks since they
filmed this alleged Hub drama on a sound stage. I haven't found too
many fellow critics yet, though, so if you're out there please join
of the Boston touches are spot on, like featuring Donnie Wahlberg and
Cape Verdean gangs, and referencing the BPD's Boston Regional
Intelligence Center (BRIC). Nonetheless, I'm a touch concerned that
the writers are reaching too hard for Boston clichés, which they're
in danger of exhausting. Since the show was just okayed for another
season, and with the final 2010 episode coming next week, I thought
it was a good time to lend pointers as to how the show's producers
can beef up the realness.
commend “Rizzoli & Isles” directors for not overdoing the
regional accent. While a lot of Boston cops definitely fudge tough
brogues to be cool – particularly those who grew up on the north
and south shores – it's not like everyone around here sports a
hard-edged dialect. It might, however, be prudent to add just one
over-the-top A-dropping ruffian, and to crank it up for scenes in
which the cops deal with white kids from Southie or Charlestown. But
the characters are believable enough – particularly Angie Harmon,
who makes for a phenomenal Boston Italian badass.
to know your neighbors...
appears to be improving, but for the first few weeks there seemed to
be some confusion about what stereotypes apply to which Boston
neighborhoods. In one episode, when detectives walk into a sweet crib
in West Roxbury, Rizzoli says to her black colleague: “You're not
in South Boston anymore Dorothy.” This doesn't make sense for a few
reasons: Southie, too, has some seriously nice homes, while, whether
it's politically correct or not, Roxbury would have worked a lot
better considering the circumstances.
the small stuff...
getting the minutiae right, and Boston will ride with you. I
especially appreciate the dumpsters that look like Waste Management
containers, but say “Wicked Clean.” Well done. Your Boston
Dispatch looks an awful lot like the Globe, so you might want to
bring a Herald-esque tabloid into the picture, and kudos on
recognizing how every t-shirt around here interpolates the Red Sox
logo. Finally; while I think using “Shipping up to Boston” as a
theme song was a bit too easy, it's nonetheless effective, and
definitely a good look for the local music scene.
from current headlines...
& Order” is the best crime drama ever – not just because it
spins mega events into episodes, but because writers follow some of
the more interesting smaller crime stories that don't make the
white-focused nightly news. Hopefully “Rizzoli & Isles” will
soon branch out, as the first season already covered virtually every
obvious historical Hub headlines besides the Big Dig, from the Boston
Marathon and Boston Strangler to the Winter Hill Gang and a Mayflower
making us look bad...
episode, there appears to be a skate park underneath what appears to
be a bridge. Here in real Boston, we have such a project on the
Charles River, but it's been stalled for a decade, and maybe if the
rest of the country thinks it exists we'll be forced to expedite.
Here are some other things we would appreciate your lobbying for:
citywide wireless internet; Don Chiofaro's massive development on the
Rose Kennedy Greenway; bars that are open past three o'clock; and
trains that run until those bars close.
to keep in mind...
aren't all that many black men in BPD leadership positions, nor is
headquarters a nice nostalgic building, but rather a replica of the
police bunker in Robocop. Also: it's not likely that someone would live
across the street from State Street (and if they do they're probably
Chinese); people here don't talk about Paul Revere all that much,
though it does seem to be a common theme as of late. And lastly –
try shooting a few scenes in Boston. We have a whole cottage film
industry here and everything.