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TV Series Review

Laura Diamond is a cop. And she's a mom. She's a mom cop.

That's the main, and really only, premise of The Mysteries of Laura, NBC's attempt to blend a crime procedural drama with a zany family sitcom. Here, motherhood is treated as both a strange superpower (making Laura more insightful and empathetic than her kidless counterparts) and telegenic foible. She's a little like Monk, only with fewer antibacterial wipes and more mac and cheese.

Oh, and more blood and cursing, too, but we'll get to that.

Laura is a homicide detective in New York City—a cagey, hard-boiled investigator who just happens to work for her ex-husband, Jake. But the two get along just fine. (In fact, they might still be married had Jake not also gotten along fine with other women.) A strong working relationship is a must for them, given the vicious, duplicitous, underhanded, manipulative characters they have to deal with on a daily basis.

And those are just their kids.

Not that they, or we, see those kids much. Laura and Jake spend long hours bringing New York's Scuzziest to justice, and their twin boys, Nicholas and Harrison, spend most of their time with nannies. While they both clearly love the tykes, Laura and Jake sometime seem a little out of their element when they're not handcuffing criminals. (When Laura was once forced to whip up lunches, she gave the kids jars of olives.)

Maybe it's good, then, that handcuffing and such takes up about 80% of the show's time? Or not. Laura and her cohorts (including Billy Soto, who is her partner; Meredith Bose, who is Jake's; and Max Carnegie, who is the precinct's info guy and requisite gay stereotype) solve the given crime of the week, leading us to bloody murder scenes while trading foul bits of language with the locals. We see sexual situations and hear sleazy stuff from time to time; skimpy attire sometimes makes an appearance. The worldview here is basically ethical—but the morals are trendy and secular. (Which means you'll find yourself at odds with what's going on more often than you'd wish.)

Seemingly modeled after USA's onetime legion of clever and comic detective shows (see: Monk, Psych), The Mysteries of Laura isn't meant to be taken too seriously. Nor can it be, whether in that moral/ethical realm or even in the lavish leaps of logic it make to superhumanly "solve" so many crimes.

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Episode Reviews

Mysteries-of-Laura: 11-19-2014



Readability Age Range



Debra Messing as Laura Diamond; Josh Lucas as Jake Broderick; Max Jenkins as Max Carnegie; Laz Alonso as Billy Soto; Janina Gavankar as Meredith Bose; Charles Reina as Nicholas Broderick; Vincent Reina as Harrison Broderick






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Paul Asay

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