Saturday, March 17, 2007

Jeff Goldblum Sees Dead People

In his first television series since the great TENSPEED AND BROWN SHOE, Jeff Goldblum stars as RAINES, which premiered last week on NBC. Michael Raines is an eccentric Los Angeles detective who recently returned to the force after a shootout that left his partner (NEW YORK UNDERCOVER's Malik Yoba) dead. In his first case, Raines investigates the murder of a pretty young prostitute, played by Alexa Davalos (by the way, Alexa's grandfather is Dick Davalos from EAST OF EDEN and Jack Hill's amazing figure-8-racing drama PIT STOP). However, since he killed his partner's murderer, Raines now sees the victims in the cases he investigates. Not as ghosts (like in THE SIXTH SENSE), but inside his head, where he uses them to bounce theories off of.

Created and written by Graham Yost (BOOMTOWN) and directed by filmmaker Frank Darabont (THE GREEN MILE), RAINES' pilot episode looks good and features terrific work by Goldblum. However, the mystery wasn't exactly a brain-teaser, and, quite honestly, the show's central conceit of Goldblum chatting with imaginary people is a gimmick that the series doesn't need. Goldblum as an eccentric Goldblum-esque L.A. cop is a premise strong enough to carry a show.

Matt Craven (from BOOMTOWN), MADTV's Nicole Sullivan and STAR TREK: ENTERPRISE's Linda Park look to be regulars. Darabont lured some impressive guest stars, such as the ubiquitous Jeff Perry (most recently on PRISON BREAK), Graham Beckel. Tracey Walter and an unbilled Mykelti Williamson, who starred in Yost's BOOMTOWN. Darabont has hired Davalos for his upcoming film version of Stephen King's THE MIST.

Film fans may get a kick out of one of RAINES' locations. In a voiceover, Raines mentions that he's a fan of old detective fiction, such as Hammett and Chandler. When he visits Davalos' apartment, it's located in the unusually picturesque complex in which Elliott Gould's Philip Marlowe lived in THE LONG GOODBYE. Nice touch, Frank Darabont.

If you're curious, here's a 60-second promo for RAINES:

No comments: