“Raines” (2007)

Raines Jeff Goldblum is back.

We’re going into the 5th week of “Raines” this week and sadly, it’s already half over. “Raines” was brought onto NBC as a mid-season replacement for ER , which was scheduled for a 6-week hiatus as the cast and crew split their 12th season. Several weeks ago, TV.com reported that NBC had already reduced their initial order from 13 to 7, which I’m sure is a disappointment to creator and producer Graham Yost, who’s last NBC show was the celebrated and lamented “ Boomtown .”

At first glance, “Raines” looks like another link in the long chain of Medium s, Ghost Whisperer s and Afterlife s, but the premise is slightly skewed and a bit more Columbo than might be anticipated. Michael Raines — played by Goldblum — is a detective on the LA who solves his cases through a bit of imaginative role-playing — but then his investigative partner died in a recent shoot out and Raines may have some post-traumatic stress disorder issues to sort out.The first episode, co-starring Alexa Davalos, formerly of Angel and The Chronicles of Riddick and directed by Frank Darabont was both touching and poignant. The second episode, ‘Meet Juan Doe’ reaches the same bar, with the story of a Mexican man murdered while visiting the United States. In interviews, Yost has referred to this show as ‘pro-victim’, which it is, considering that Raines works through each case by intimately empathizing with the victims. Raines is a surprising and thoughtful new show that’s probably not going to be around for long. Catch it while you can.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ½

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