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Published on May 30th, 2008 | by Erich Becker


In Plain Sight – Pilot (01×01)

Over the last few years USA Network has launched some of the best shows on cable, if not TV in general, culminating with last year’s successful introduction of Burn Notice and the continued success of the Emmy-winning Monk and ever watchable Psych, and now they introduce us to a new character, Mary Shannon in In Plain Sight, a show with a touch of flair, but still needing to find a unique voice.


The series stars Mary McCormack (1408) as your standard tough, strong female lead who does things her own way, like following a guy into a men’s restroom for questioning, then making fun of his penis size and driving away in a Ford POS. The problem with the whole character is you’ve seen this before, you’ve seen this show before, and while CBS is channeling Psych in the upcoming The Mentalist, USA seems to be channeling years of procedurals for Sight.

That isn’t to say there isn’t a lot to like here, the show is presented as a dramedy with Shannon participating in a healthy dose of self-depreciating humor, and some well timed wit to keep things fresh, and while it’s a good idea to balance time between Mary’s life as a US Marshal working in the Witness Protection Program and her home life with a spaced-out mom and vengeful sister, the pilot episode doesn’t set this up as well as it could, focusing too much on the family and not enough on the case at hand.


Granted this is a pilot, and pilot’s usually rush through everything to show you what the show will be like for the next 13 or 22 episodes, but each aspect of the show comes up a bit shallow when both tried to cram into 65 minutes.

Notable aspects of the pilot include some great interrogation scenes with a suspect pointing out what ever guy was thinking, “wow cleavage,” and, as mentioned earlier, some great writing in parts, but overall the script is a bit lazy, resting on the laurels of the genre rather than trying something new (if there’s anything left new out there).


Seeds of the season have been planted with Mary’s sister, Brandi (Nichole Hiltz), stowing what looks to be a couple million dollars worth of nose candy in her suitcase, and an on-again, off-again, its-complicated love affair with Rafael (Cristián de la Fuente), but we’ll have to see how those play out over the next couple of episodes and see if the show can click into something we haven’t seen before.

While the pilot may not be a solid indication of where the show will eventually lead this season, it does set up the two contrasting worlds of Mary Shannon’s life we’ll be exploring, and while we’ve been here before, the parts of the show that come together well make a returned visit an almost certainty.

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About the Author

Thirty-something with a love of everything we cover here, and a few things we don't. Erich has run Entertainmentopia since the site's inception in 1999, countless redesigns, a few crashes, and a lot of media later, here you have it!

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