19 August 2006 | P_o_p_i_n_j_a_y
Raines is a very unusual and reflective detective series, strong on character.
This series has a great deal of potential. When Detective Raines (goldbloom) begins working on a case to solve the death of a young woman he starts having hallucinations. The victim of the murder appears perfectly real to him, and throughout the episode he continues to carry on conversations with her.
Now here is what makes this premise and this series interesting:
1.There is nothing at all supernatural about his hallucinations. In fact they only know what he knows. By talking to these hallucinations he is really reasoning through the crime.
2. In the process this makes the victims of the crime very real to the viewer. Most crime dramas begin by finding a dead body and the rest is a chase to catch the killer, and none of the characters become fully developed. By the end of Raines however, the victim of the murder is a dynamic and unique individual.
3. Because Raines' hallucinations only know what he does, the character of the victim shifts through the episode. This is a very useful tool. Unlike most series that only focus outside events, these hallucinations give the viewer a window into Raines' own mind.
4. The fact that Raines' visions are only hallucinations and that he is aware of that fact makes this show much more interesting a series like Medium, which Raines has unfairly been compared to.
5. The absence of supernatural elements makes the series science-friendly. This is not to say I don't like shows or movies about the supernatural, but there are very few series or movies consider supernaturalism and reject it directly.
This quick comment is based on the first episode only.
I hope the quality of writing and the premise of the series continue to play out along this course. The quickest way to ruin what has all the earmarks of a very good series would be to hint that there may really be something supernatural going on, to move away from character development, or to bring in God, angels, or psychics as explanatory tools.
My vote would have been a 9 or a 10 for this series, but currently it is 8 because only one episode has been broadcast and it is therefore difficult to determine if the quality will remain high from the pilot episode. I have great hopes for this series, but many times series go in a different direction than the pilot episode would suggest, and so I am tempering my response.
At the moment I highly recommend the series---especially for those viewers who have grown tired to typical television clichés.
This could very well be the thinking person's crime drama.