×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

TV Review: ‘Reckless’

With:
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

  • Bethenny Frankel arrives at the 71st

    Bethenny Frankel Reveals Her New Slate of 'Female-Centric' Shows For MGM

    Reality star Bethenny Frankel is still staying busy after announcing her plans to exit the “Real Housewives” franchise last month. She left because she wanted to “explore my next chapter,” and entered a production partnership with Mark Burnett and MGM television. “Most of them happen to be female-centric,” she said on the Emmys purple carpet [...]

  • Atmosphere71st Primetime Emmy Awards Nominations Announcement,

    How to Watch the 2019 Emmy Awards Online

    The 71st Primetime Emmy Awards won’t be one to miss. Whether you’re a “Killing Eve” fan eager to see co-stars Sandra Oh and Jodie Comer face off in the same category, a “Veep” enthusiast excited to see Julia Louis-Dreyfus potentially nab the honor of most Emmy wins of any performer in history or a “Game [...]

  • Actor Aron Eisenberg during the Creation

    'Star Trek: Deep Space Nine' Actor Aron Eisenberg Dies at 50

    “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine” actor Aron Eisenberg, who played Nog in the 1990s series, died Saturday. He was 50. His character Nog, who appeared for all seven seasons, was a member of the alien race Ferengi, and joined Starfleet after a recommendation from Captain Sisko. Eisenberg returned for a guest spot on “Star Trek: [...]

  • ALL RISE -- A drama that

    TV Review: 'All Rise' Starring Simone Missick

    Finding a new way to do a legal procedural is such a difficult prospect at this point that it would be hard to blame TV for giving up entirely and just going on autopilot. “All Rise,” however, both indulges the basics of the genre and finds some refreshing ways to twist them into slightly new, [...]

  • An Emmy statue stands outside the

    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” [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content