I’m a fan of most of their original programs. Some I enjoy more than others, but they all have interesting relationships with emotional depth, regardless of the premise of the show. I like that they have some intensity yet are funny, and basically “clean.” Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind shows with some smut now and then or some cussing, provided they have a good story and involving characters and relationships, but in this case it’s nice to just sit down and know you won’t be bludgeoned with all that extraneous stuff.
The original series are: In Plain Sight, White Collar, Covert Affairs, Royal Pains, Burn Notice, and Psych. I chose to end the list with Psych because it is a show in it’s own category. The others follow a similar rhythm, even if they are wildly different in subject and style. Psych, however, is something wholly separate, and for me all the more fabulous for it.
But today I want to start with In Plain Sight. Mary McCormack (love her!) plays the lead character of Mary Shannon, a tough, hard-as-nails federal marshal who has had to basically provide and care for her sister and mother for many years, having to be the adult when the adults didn’t step up. Her job is in many ways her salvation, helping to keep people in witness protection safe. This is in large part because of her dishy partner Marshall Mann (yes, that’s Marshal Marshall Mann), played by Frederick Weller, who is her best friend and counterpoint, being more sensitive and compassionate.
The thing about Mary is that in all that cynicism and snarkiness, which is quite funny for the most part, she has a good heart. Marshall helps bring that out and reminds her that that’s okay now and then. The two of them together are a classic duo, though. There are lots of layers to their relationship, but it’s the kind of friendship that we’d all like to have… the kind with a knowing beyond words.
There is a lot of depth of character and the dynamics of the relationships are not easy and are very real. In this way the show rarely feels contrived, because no matter how silly some of the scenarios might be to real life, the characters are real. They are us. They deal with crap in their lives, with difficult-nearing-impossible family relationships, with messing up in romantic relationships, with getting things all wrong and still wanting to be justified, with having to admit they are wrong and trying to mend things. This is why I love this show, and why the shows on this network all appeal to me.