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Picks and Pans Main: TV

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King & Maxwell

TNT, June 10, 1O p.m. ET/PT |


It’s still hard for me not to think of TNT as the network that aired The Closer. Why couldn’t they have saved that classic by recasting Kyra Sedgwick with, say, Elaine Stritch? The new crime series King & Maxwell, at any rate, induces a comfortable forgetfulness: A smoothly executed vehicle for Rebecca Romijn and Jon Tenney, it knows exactly what it’s doing. Tenney and Romijn are Sean King and Michelle Maxwell, ex-Secret Service agents whose careers were torpedoed by major slipups with their charges. (King’s life sank further because of guilt and substance abuse.) Now they work together as private eyes in Washington, D.C. Their first case confidently stitches together a suspected serial killer, some powerful higher-ups and a lawyer who’s been vital to King’s rehabilitation. But the ingenuity of the story doesn’t matter so much as the cast. Tenney, after years playing Kyra Sedgwick’s clean-cut significant other on The Closer, has earned the right to look a bit shaggy. Romijn’s gorgeous, glazed invulnerability can seem humorless, but she pairs well with the more rumpled Tenney. They click without overdoing the cute. And the supporting performers are first-rate: Michael O’Keefe, as an FBI rival, sneers and sniffs the air like an intemperate beagle.

The Haves and the Have Nots

OWN, Tuesdays, 9 p.m. ET/PT |


Written and executive produced by Tyler Perry, this new drama opens with a flourish: The gates of a beautiful estate in Savannah swing open to draw us onto the shaded grounds. Once inside, though, we’re on the threshold of a tackily traditional soap opera. The house belongs to Jim Cryer (John Schneider), head of a powerful but unpleasant family. By the end of the first hour, they have an overnight guest, a prostitute who counts Cryer as a client and his daughter as a law school friend. There’s no need to take any of it seriously, but Crystal Fox is pitiably real as a lowly new maid whose head is set spinning by all the hot mess.