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Review: In Plain Sight

plain-sight.jpg"In Plain Sight" is the latest entry in the female cop genre. This time, Mary McCormack ("The West Wing") stars as Mary Shannon, a snarky U.S. marshal in charge of participants in the Witness Protection Program.

While the subject matter sounds interesting and the New Mexico backdrop is certainly new, the show needs a few tweaks before Brenda Johnson (Kyra Sedgwick, "The Closer") and Grace Hanadarko (Holly Hunter, "Saving Grace") induct another member into the all-female justice league. While McCormack is a good actress, very few of her supporting cast -- including the witnesses she's protecting -- are all that interesting.

McCormack can certainly deliver the zing. "They lie, they cheat, they start wars," she says of the opposite sex. "They're slobs unless they're gay, and there's precious few of them walking the planet worth putting on lipstick for, let alone throwing your life away." While that may have saved the man in question, the writing isn't doing this show or its cast any favors.

Most of the time, McCormack is stuck with crappy lines (''What's the deal with babies? I don't get 'em.'') or situations (faking an orgasm? In the season premiere?). Also, she's a walking stereotype from her F-the-world attitude to her disregard for department procedures. Also, it's no surprise that, like most badass babes, her personal life is a complete mess, from her bizarre mom (Lesley Ann Warren) to her visiting/drug-addict of a sister (Nichole Hiltz) to her occasional boy-toy ("Dancing With the Stars" hunk Cristian de la Fuente).

Aside from a few useless characters, the casting is very impressive. McCormack is a great snag, as is Paul Ben-Victor as Mary's smitten boss, as well as her equally sarcastic partner Marshall (Fred Weller). The show also promises a slew of guest stars to pop up throughout the season.

While McCormack is certainly capable of carrying a series, her workload had better get a lot more interesting -- and fast. A bookkeeper that wants breast implants? A wealthy doctor gets demoted? It all sounds interesting, but it's more secondary to the plot than it should be. Instead, the writers are trying to get us too attached to the show's regular cast and goofy one-liners. That can come in time; instead, they should delve into the characters that could make this show a lot more interesting than it currently is.

"In Plain Sight" premieres Sunday, June 1 at 10:00 p.m. (EST) on the USA Network. -- Rachel Cericola

Posted by Rachel Cericola on June 1, 2008 12:15 AM
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