Aug 6, 2017
Not So Rosy Outlook for Rosewood
What are the bare bones, if you pardon the pun, of your typical police procedural?
Well, you have a know-it-all detective who drives everyone nuts while they solve the case, a grumpy cop who eventually warms up to said know-it-all detective, and a couple of lab assistants who spout off scientific knowledge as the plot demands and help the know-it-all detective and grumpy cop with their cases.
What makes Rosewood different from any other “crime of the week” show?
Those archetypal characters are a black man, a Latina woman, and an interracial lesbian couple, respectively.
At first glance, Rosewood seems like it might be the next show in line that finally reflects the diversity of the United States and proves to network executives that people of color are more than capable of leading popular series, much like Empire, Fresh Off the Boat, Jane the Virgin and black-ish have done. Considering the fact that Rosewood is set in Miami, where the population is 70% Latino and 20% Black or African American, the show would have committed a great disservice if it didn’t make its cast reflect these demographics.
Unfortunately for Rosewood, it’s not enough to have a range of different skin colors on the screens–the show also needs to fully develop these characters.
The plot begins when Donna Rosewood (Lorraine Toussaint) begs her son and title character Dr. Beaumont Rosewood (Morris Chestnut), who is a charming, albeit slightly annoying pathologist, to investigate the murder of her ex-student, Nora Grayson. Rosewood immediately inserts himself into the police investigation, which is being led by Detective Annalise Villa (Jaina Lee Ortiz). Villa is less than pleased to have the private pathologist barge in as she tries to conduct her police work, but of course, Rosewood is just so dang charming that she eventually lets him tag along and the two work together to solve Nora’s death, which turns out be the typical reason good girls from the right side of the track get killed: Nora was involved in the Miami drug world and got killed when a deal went bad.
While I’m not denying the charisma of Morris Chestnut, the problem is that Rosewood never truly gets the chance to win over other characters, or the audience for that matter. It’s a classic case of “telling instead of showing.”
In his first scene…
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