The Mysteries of Laura Is Two Shows In One – Neither Very Good!

The Mysteries of Laura - Season 1

On The Mysteries of Laura (NBC, sneak preview 11/10C, then Wednesdays 8/7C) following America’s Got Talent), which wants to be both a procedural drama and a wacky domestic sitcom, Laura is a crackerjack homicide detective, a crack shot and a bit of a Type A personality.

She’s a female Sherlock Holmes insofar as solving crimes but hopelessly struggling to cope with her hyperactive, anarchy-causing twin boys. Between trying to solve homicides, dealing with the kids, and trying to persuade her ex to sign divorce papers Laura is a wreck.

The show veers from medium dark procedural to sitcom in tone but never quite works despite Debra Messing being perfect as Laura. Perfect, unfortunately, is not the word to describe the show’s premiere.

Awkward plotting requires, for example, that the boys’ dad is also a cop but refuses to acknowledge their bad behavior while using his job to avoid parenting – and that will probably get old fast. The cast is engaging, but the writing is far too predictable – and the network’s previews cleverly give away the identity of the killer (not that it’s that hard to figure out, but… jeez!). D’OH!

The creative team can keep trying to straddle the show’s two opposing tones, but unless the writing sharpens up incredibly, The Mysteries of Laura should be an early casualty.

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Photo by Patrick Randak/Courtesy of NBC