You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

TV Review: ‘Reckless’

Anna Wood, Cam Gigandet, Shawn Hatosy, Adam Rodriguez, Georgina Haig, Kim Wayans, Gregory Harrison, Michael Gladis

Representing CBS’ latest attempt to produce a sort-of summer soap, “Reckless” mixes an ongoing storyline with a procedural element, in a slightly tawdry tale of Southern sex that — reflecting the network’s sweet spot — still doesn’t stray from the police station and courthouse. The show’s modestly diverting on its own terms and well cast at the fringes, but the show’s leads probably aren’t as compelling as they need to be given the desire to produce fireworks between what CBS describes as its “gorgeous Yankee litigator and charming Southern attorney.” So while the show masters the network’s formula, it could use a little help with chemistry.

Set in Charleston, S.C., the series centers on a relocated Chicago lawyer, Jamie Sawyer (Anna Wood), forced to butt heads with the new City Attorney, Roy Rayder (Cam Gigandet). Lest anyone miss clues that they’re both supposed to be smokin’ hot, she conspicuously turns heads when first walking into the courthouse, and he’s shown working shirtless on a boat because, um …

The rivalry quickly heats up in the context of a case that becomes the show’s ongoing spine: the dismissal of a female cop, Lee Anne (Georgina Haig), who was having sex with one of her co-workers, dirty detective Terry McCandless (Shawn Hatosy, like fellow “Southland” alum Ben McKenzie, still walking the beat in his follow-up show).

Lee Anne’s wrongful-termination case, which Jamie agrees to pursue, hints at deeper corruption within the department, as well as a good-ol’-boy mentality that suggests the powers that be take care of their own. At the same time, the episodes previewed each involve a self-contained little mini-trial, presumably for that portion of the CBS audience that can’t fathom watching anything that fails to offer some kind of closure before clapping off the set.

Created by Dana Stevens, “Reckless” (a say-nothing title, incidentally) wants to position itself as a sort-of CW/CBS hybrid — a lurid soap with a procedural backbone. And if that feels kind of summery, it’s still not compelling enough to create a sense of urgency, despite the twists and cliffhangers that close episodes.

Other than the accents, the series also seemingly misses a chance to fully capitalize on its locale, talking a lot about where old and new meet in the South without much context, despite CBS’ best efforts to make the show feel “sultry,” as it’s described. (As a footnote, Catherine Hardwicke, who kicked off the “Twilight” franchise, directed the pilot.)

CBS is clearly making good on the general network pledge to not just hang out a “Gone fishin’ ” sign in the summer, augmenting “Big Brother” and last season’s hit “Under the Dome” with new players, including the sci-fi premise “Extant.”

In that context, the thinking behind this lower-key addition to the roster feels much like the show itself: Calculated, yes, but far from reckless.

Popular on Variety

TV Review: 'Reckless'

(Series; CBS, Sun. June 29, 9 p.m.)

Production: Filmed in Charleston, S.C. by Sander/Moses Prods. in association with CBS Television Studios.

Crew: Executive producers, Dana Stevens, Kim Moses, Ian Sander, Corey Miller and Catherine Hardwicke; producer, Lorie Zerweck; director, Hardwicke; writer, Stevens; camera, Peter Levy; production designer, Lilly Kilvert; editor, Julia Wong. 60 MIN.

Cast: Anna Wood, Cam Gigandet, Shawn Hatosy, Adam Rodriguez, Georgina Haig, Kim Wayans, Gregory Harrison, Michael Gladis

More TV

  • An Emmy statue is displayed during

    Expect High Heat and Traffic for Emmys Sunday

    If you work in TV, are a fan of TV, or are in fact a TV yourself, the 71st Primetime Emmys promise to be a treat. Television’s biggest awards show takes place in Los Angeles on Sunday night, with some of Hollywood’s brightest stars set to appear as the entertainment community honors the best of [...]

  • Roma Cinematography

    'Mission: Impossible - Fallout' and 'Roma' Win LMGI Awards for Motion Pictures

    Two major 2018 releases – actioner “Mission: Impossible – Fallout” and critics’ darling “Roma” – were honored for film location work by the Location Managers Guild International at a ceremony this evening at the Eli & Edythe Broad Stage in Santa Monica. The 6th Annual LMGI Awards also recognized “Chernobyl” and “Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan” [...]

  • Viacom Channels Grab 'Seinfeld' Cable Rerun

    Viacom Channels Grab 'Seinfeld' Cable Rerun Rights

    Viacom has sealed a deal with Sony Pictures Television for the cable rights to “Seinfeld” starting in October 2021. The deal comes on the heels of a blockbuster new deal between Sony and Netflix for the streaming rights to the beloved NBC sitcom that also begins in 2021. “Seinfeld” reruns have been a staple of [...]

  • Soho House

    Soho House Lands In Downtown Los Angeles

    Warner Music, Spotify and Lyft are poised to welcome a new neighbor to downtown Los Angeles’ Arts District with Soho Warehouse, the third California outpost of the Hollywood-loved members-only club — and the largest North American opening to date. Hot on the heels of the Soho House Hong Kong debut earlier this summer, the private [...]

  • Elite Season 2

    San Sebastian: Spain’s SVOD Players Debate Competition, Brand, Talent

    SAN SEBASTIAN  — Executives from HBO, Netflix, Amazon and Movistar+ and “Elite” co-creator Darío Madrona took to the stage to field questions on the Global Impact of Spanish Series. Here, briefly, are five takeaways: 1.Spain First “La Casa de Papel” was watched by 34,355,956 Netflix accounts over its first seven days,  after a July 19 [...]

  • Samsung Makes Bid to Keep Viewers

    Samsung Makes Bid to Keep Viewers From Skipping Fox Ad Breaks

    Fox is hoping to knit together the seconds-long divide between a TV program and the commercials that support it. During ad breaks for a few football broadcasts, tomorrow’s run of the Emmys and Wednesday’s season premiere of “The Masked Singer,” the network will kick off ad sessions with special show promos that display artistic renderings [...]

  • Patria

    HBO Europe Unveils ‘Patria’ Footage to Captive San Sebastian Audience

    SAN SEBASTIAN — Amid large expectation, HBO Europe has revealed first footage giving a first sense of tone and pace of its Spanish original series “Patria.” A packed-to-overflowing press conference on Saturday morning at the San Sebastian Festival can be read as one sign of the potential popularity of the eight-part series. The panel sneak-peek [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content