Killer WomenTuesdays, 10 p.m., ABC.
With a provocative title that makes it sound like a true-crime series about murderous wives, Killer Women promises something more titillating than it delivers. Instead it’s a pretty by-the-numbers crime procedural, with a bit of local Texas flavor and a focus on the struggles of a woman in a male-dominated organization. Tricia Helfer (Battlestar Galactica) stars as Texas Ranger Molly Parker, one of the only women in the legendary law enforcement organization. Although there’s no shortage of female TV cops, the Rangers are a bit old-fashioned, apparently, and Molly still has trouble getting respect from some of her male colleagues. Also, she’s a maverick who doesn’t play by the rules but gets results, etc. Basically your standard lone-wolf TV detective.
Helfer is good at playing the tough-as-nails cop (with a soft side glimpsed in a few brief domestic scenes), and she could give Justified’s Timothy Olyphant a run for his money in the cowboy-hat-wearing department. But when it comes to the storytelling, Killer Women has nothing new to offer, lining up the same misdirections, tense interrogations and obvious last-minute reveals as any number of other crime procedurals. The show’s first episode incorporates Texas’ proximity to Mexico with a storyline reminiscent of FX’s The Bridge, which at least grounds it in a sense of place often missing from other crime dramas. But it’s also just a superficial gloss on a case that could have easily unfolded somewhere else, and there’s nothing to indicate that the show is interested in tackling serious issues. A crime is solved, a criminal is caught, and we’re on to the next episode.