Writer Harley Peyton has created a detective series with echoes of everything from “Spenser: for Hire” to “Moonlighting,” from “It Happened One Night” to “Roman Holiday”– but without the class. This shot at a sophisticated, madcap pilot under Allan Arkush’s uninspired direction misfires badly amid Miami’s South Beach district’s pastels; the fluff goes flooff.
Bill Campbell is p.i. Walter Tatum, who’s investigating an international banking fraud. Ally Walker limns heiress and bride-to-be Gwen Cross, who leaps from a yacht in her bridal gown to escape her wedding.
Gwen’s wealthy papa calls Tatum to locate her. One of Tatum’s minions, Tito (Agustin Rodriguez), spots her and invites her to Tatum’s office to be safe for the night. Gwen, of course, doesn’t know her father’s hired Tatum to find her.
The worn-out premise demands sparkling dialogue, an involving plot line and a cast that delivers style, not flippancy.
Campbell’s eager Tatum lacks authority. Walker’s Gwen comes off not so much innocent as thick. Rodriguez is acceptable as Tito, and Tatum’s other helper, Billie, is played satisfactorily by Marlo Marron. Lysette Anthony is a pretty asset as Tatum’s current crush, but best job of the thin program is that of Chelcie Ross as Gwen’s uptight father.
After this airdate, series will play Wednesdays, 10-11 p.m. For a while.