TV Review: “Rosewood” Might Need Medical Help

Synopsis (FOX):  

Meet the Beethoven of private pathologists…

Set against the vibrant backdrop of one of the world’s hottest cities – Miami – new medical procedural from executive producer Todd Harthan (“Psych,” “Dominion”), ROSEWOOD is the story of DR. BEAUMONT ROSEWOOD, JR. (Morris Chestnut, “Nurse Jackie,” “The Best Man” franchise), the city’s top private pathologist. Brilliant, cool with tons of charisma, Rosewood teams up with the tough-as-nails DETECTIVE ANNALISE VILLA (Jaina Lee Ortiz, “The After”), to uncover clues no one else sees and help the Miami PD solve the city’s most challenging cases. While she’s impressed by Rosewood’s incredible abilities, his constant optimism is more annoying than it is infectious. But somehow, week-to-week, this unlikely tag team will solve many crimes together.

Joining Rosewood in his practice are his sister and “toxicology queen,” PIPPY (Gabrielle Dennis, “The Game”); and DNA specialist TARA MILLY IZIKOFF aka TMI (Anna Konkle, “Man Seeking Woman,” “Betas”), who is Pippy’s fiancée. Rosewood’s mom, DONNA (Lorraine Toussaint, “Orange is the New Black”), is on the cusp of some major life changes that will affect her children profoundly. A matriarch with a lot of strong opinions, Shirley holds family gatherings sacred and makes Rosewood’s love life a regular topic of conversation. Rounding out the cast is Miami PD’s CAPTAIN IRA HORNSTOCK (Domenick Lombardozzi, “The Wire”) who is a great team leader but is terrible at managing his own life. Hornstock and Rosewood have a complicated relationship: while he can’t stand Rosewood’s big personality and sunny disposition, he acknowledges Rosewood’s stellar contributions to the department.

Plagued with his own set of medical ailments, Rosewood believes that every moment of life, no matter how small, should be embraced and lived to the fullest. This heightened awareness allows him to see details on bodies that others cannot. But what drives him most are the victims who are stripped of life’s moments.

My thoughts: SIGH, you guys. I’ve been mulling over Rosewood for the past few days, and I’ve been going back and forth on it, I’ve even written an EW Community post about it. My final decision, after waffling on it, is that I don’t think I’m completely sold on Rosewood. I feel bad about saying it too, since I think Morris Chestnut needs a chance. But unfortunately, the part that I’m not sold on the most is Chestnut’s character, Dr. Beaumont Rosewood.

The character of Rosewood is what I wrote about in the EW Community article, an article I myself would call a winding one that only reaches its conclusion at the end. I critique my own writing a lot, but I think my particular article wasn’t as cohesive as I’d like because Rosewood is a really nebulous character. In many ways, Rosewood is like a traditional “know-it-all” detective, complete with his snarky, intensely confident retorts, but it’s those same personality quirks that cover up what seems to be a vapid character. I’m not sure if it comes down to the writing or the direction or even the acting, but something about Rosewood isn’t gelling.

ROSEWOOD: Pictured L-R: Gabrielle Dennis as Pippy Rosewood, Morris Chestnut as Beaumont Rosewood, Jr. and Anna Konkle as Tara Milly Izikoff aka TMI in the "Pilot" series premiere episode of ROSEWOOD airing Wednesday, Sept. 23 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. ©2015 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Jeff Daly/FOX.
ROSEWOOD: Pictured L-R: Gabrielle Dennis as Pippy Rosewood, Morris Chestnut as Beaumont Rosewood, Jr. and Anna Konkle as Tara Milly Izikoff aka TMI in the “Pilot” series premiere episode of ROSEWOOD airing Wednesday, Sept. 23 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. ©2015 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Jeff Daly/FOX.

I will say that there are some lines in the show, and some parts of the tone of the show, that don’t gel. For instance, when Rosewood’s would-be partner, Detective Annalise Villa (Jaina Lee Ortiz) finally told Rosewood about some of her past trauma, including her husband dying suddenly from a bad heart. She reveals this horrible story and the ailment he died from, and then, inexplicably says, “say that five times fast.” WHY would we want to make a screwball comedic joke at this point?

Perhaps it is the screwball comedy aspect of the show that kinda doesn’t make sense to me. It doesn’t match the other tone of the show, which is a CSI-esque procedural. There has to be a middle ground between comedic moments and murder-mystery. It can be done; Psych was able to make a comedy about solving murders, and it worked. On the other hand, since I’ve mentioned CSI, CSI has managed to make a show that has many dramatic moments, but still has a balance of romance and, indeed, jokes.

ROSEWOOD: Pictured L-R: Gabrielle Dennis as Pippy Rosewood, Jaina Lee Ortiz as Detective Villa, Morris Chestnut as Beaumont Rosewood, Jr. and Anna Konkle as Tara Milly Izikoff aka TMI in the "Pilot" series premiere episode of ROSEWOOD airing Wednesday, Sept. 23 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. ©2015 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Jeff Daly/FOX.
ROSEWOOD: Pictured L-R: Gabrielle Dennis as Pippy Rosewood, Jaina Lee Ortiz as Detective Villa, Morris Chestnut as Beaumont Rosewood, Jr. and Anna Konkle as Tara Milly Izikoff aka TMI in the “Pilot” series premiere episode of ROSEWOOD airing Wednesday, Sept. 23 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. ©2015 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Jeff Daly/FOX.

I really think Rosewood can make it, but hopefully it has come together before it’s too late. There are great parts of the show make me want to root for it, such as Rosewood’s sister and assistant (Gabrielle Dennis) engaged to Rosewood’s other assistant, Tara Milly Izikioff, otherwise known as TMI (Anna Konkle). Lorraine Toussaint herself is a sole reason to tune in. Even the show’s location of Miami makes me want the show to succeed, since I used to live there. But as it is right now, the show is too precious for me and needs to lose some of that if it wants to grow.

But don’t just take my opinion for the gospel; what did you think about Rosewood? Write about it below in the comments section!

Photo credit: Jeff Daly/FOX