TNT has put on a new crime dramady starring Jason Lee of Kevin Smith film fame as well as the Alvin and the Chipmunks movies. Memphis Beat follows Detective Dwight Hendricks and the cast of characters that make up his precinct, from his new Lieutenant Tanya Rice to his partner, even his mom.
This is the kind of cop show I enjoy, one that focuses on the character rather than procedural investigation or neat DNA testing that miraculously comes back within a couple of days. Rather, it is much like Castle and one of my favorites, Republic of Doyle.
Like Republic of Doyle which is set in St. Johns, Newfoundland, Memphis Beat uses its namesake city as a character as much as the people in it. From the music, atmosphere, humidity, and character, Memphis (and New Orleans) is as much a star as Jason Lee.
Detective Dwight Hendricks is a sly yet caring guy who loves his city, loves his music, and loves his mama. He has the admiration of his peers and is starting to earn it from his new boss. He is driven to take care of those who need protection, to see justice done, and to finish the job at hand. He spends his off time singing in blues clubs. (Vocalized by Mark Arnell) He grew up idolizing Elvis and has his own shrines dedicated to the King. It was a great end scene to the first episode with him on stage, his friends in the crowd, and his boss coming by at his invitation. Jason Lee is perfect for the role he is bringing to life. I look forward to more as he grows into the character, truly making it his own.
I just really, really hope that the good detective does not go into full blown Elvis impersonations……..