08/26/2013 04:51 EDT | Updated 10/26/2013 05:12 EDT

<em>King & Maxwell</em> Make A Fine Pair (And A Show To Watch)


You have to give Rebecca Romijn credit. The former supermodel could have just relied on her beauty and played the "hot girl" roles (remember her as Dennis' wife on Just Shoot Me, and the dirty girl that dated Ross on Friends?) but she has managed to eke out a decent resumé.

I was one of the few people who tuned in to Pepper Dennis every week until it was cancelled, watched Eastwick ... until it was cancelled ... and loved everything about Ugly Betty ... until it was cancelled. (Er, I hope that's not an ongoing theme here.) Will Romijn win an Emmy in her career? Maybe not. But she's definitely more than just a pretty face. So the next obvious step was to give her an established on-screen partner, make her a bit of slob (albeit, a hot slob) and you've got yourself a crackling new series.

King & Maxwell, which stars Romijn and Jon Tenney (The Closer, and one of my personal past faves, Get Real) as a pair of private investigators, is based on David Baldacci's popular novels. It premiered in June in the U.S. on TNT (and, no, not USA like I originally thought; it just seems like a USA show, à la White Collar and Graceland). Admittedly, it does seem a little similar to the cable network's other shows (Rizzoli & Isles, Franklin & Bash) in that it's a buddy show where the leads solve crimes (or in F&B's case, win cases in court) but it's a nice mix of drama (nothing too heavy, though) and comedy (not too slapstick, thankfully).

While some might find it's a more modern take on Moonlighting, or Remington Steele with a bit of Hunter thrown in, I think the chemistry between Sean King and Michelle Maxwell is reminiscent of Flynn and Vega on Motive. Hopefully, like those detectives, nothing romantic will happen (at least, not yet; wait, does anything happen, American viewers? No, don't tell me.) and they'll keep their relationship strictly business, despite their easy, wonderful chemistry.

But aside from the the lead titular characters and the witty repartee they share, what's best about the show is that it's simply about the detective work. Sure, we'll learn more about why these two left the Secret Service but it's a nice explanation (without having to explain) why they're both so good at their private-eye jobs.

In the premiere, the action begins right off the bat on the Washington D.C. streets (well, Toronto standing in as D.C.) with a car chase. And it doesn't really stop. Plots from the novels obviously have to be condensed for TV purposes but the first hour of the 10-episode first season (TNT has yet to announce if it is being renewed) comes from Baldacci's 2007 book, Simple Genius, and Maxwell and King find themselves drawn into the world of spies, mathematicians and complex codes. What eventually comes from it are two pesky FBI agents (Michael O'Keefe, Chris Butler), who will likely be the pain in the investigators' asses all season, and a brilliant new employee (Sons of Anarchy's Ryan Hurst).

King likes to keep things as non-violent as possible and uses his smart mouth to get answers, while Maxwell is the one who gets down and dirty (I love to see a woman who convincingly fires a gun and kicks ass). But I don't want to overplay the awesomeness of Tenney and Romijn. Sure, they're great together but King & Maxwell is about so much more. Sure, we first see Maxwell in pursuit of a dude in a beaver suit driving a bus so it doesn't seem like it's the most intense of procedurals. But it all changes once we meet Hurst's Edgar Roy, making King & Maxwell more than just a fluffy show. It's an intriguing mix, which makes it a fascinating, fun watch. Don't miss it.

'King & Maxwell' premieres Tuesday, August 27 at 10 p.m. ET on Showcase in Canada. 'King & Maxwell' premiered in the U.S. on June 10 and airs on TNT.

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