In this era of muddled motivations and heart-wrenching public shootings, an unconventional cop show like "Motive" is a welcome change from the ordinary. Instead of the usual crime-suspect search-trial-conviction process, the show investigates the motivations behind a criminal's actions. While each episode stands on its own, they all start with a crime scene and victim, and then work their way backwards, eventually finding the person responsible.
Starring Toronto-born Kristin Lehman as Detective Angie Flynn, "Motive" boasts fresh characters, great dialogue and outstanding production values (especially for a Canadian-produced show). Shot entirely in Vancouver, the series is beautiful to look at and intriguing to watch.
HuffPost Canada TV spoke with Lehman about why this show stands out, what she loves most about her character and why you should watch this particular cop show instead of the others saturating your nighttime line-up.
This show is so different from your usual cop drama, and also very different from the typical Canadian procedural. Is that something that brought you on board?
That's what really mattered to me. Usually, though, to be fair, Canadian productions are a by-product of budget. There's nothing we can do to get away from the fact that, in our country, to make entertainment, we'll always have to deal with the rigours of budget. We have different geography, a different population -- we don't have as many people. For "Motive," it wasn't a question of making it look un-Canadian, but instead, we wanted it to be the product of a bunch of really skilled people making something. And that's what you have.
It really comes out in the characters. I even felt for the murderer in the first episode.
That's something I wasn't expecting! I didn't expect to feel pathos for the villains in our show. I feel quite moved in several of our episodes; I never realized that a show like "Motive," which aims for a broad appeal, could have that sort of emotional impact.
That helps explain why it resonates in our current era, right? So many shootings and crimes with no apparent motive. We're always asking, "Why did someone do this? Why did someone do that?"
Yeah, and this is going to sound too deep, but I feel like this show is a good study of the failures and frailties of people. Making poor decisions ... making a left when they should have gone right. That's the part that's pretty compelling.
Do you love your character? Do you like playing the quippy, wisecracking, whip-smart detective?
[Laughs] I do. I have a deep, deep fondness for Angie. She's taught me a lot. The minute I get to work in the morning, I really feel her. I like her guilelessness. She has no problem playing the fool -- she doesn't care if she's underestimated. You have to carry so many archetypes as an actor, especially as a blonde-haired, blue-eyed one. They always want me to play the femme fatale, so for me to be able to use humour and to be imperfect ... that's so freeing.
Did you do any training for the role?
Well, we did our tactical gun training, which I don't relish, but I want to look proficient. [Laughs] The thing I found most interesting was meeting the Vancouver homicide detectives. We met them and they were so open and forthcoming, especially in terms of what it's like for them to be cops, what made them want to be cops, their working relationships and home life, their favourite things about being cops. That was really compelling.
For people who feel like they've seen it all when it comes to cop shows, what would you say to someone to get them to watch "Motive"?
Our show looks beautiful; visually it is so striking. Thankfully, it doesn't stop there. We have a show that looks gorgeous and we have writing that twists and turns, with compelling characters. We're in the business of making solid entertainment and we've succeeded on that front.
"Motive" premieres on February 3, 2013 after the Super Bowl on CTV.
Related: Lauren Holly Talks "Motive"