With so many medical dramas on television, it seems nearly impossible for one show to stick out over the others. For an audience to stay hooked, a show must have gripping storylines and captivating characters that will entice viewers to tune in week after week. Fox’s “Rosewood” has these elements and so much more. Gorgeously shot and saturated with the vibrant colors of Miami, “Rosewood” follows Dr. Beaumont Rosewood Jr.; played brilliantly and humorously by veteran actor Morris Chestnut. Rosewood is a private pathologist who likes to insert himself and his unbridled knowledge about corpses into the Miami homicide department’s most troubling cases, much to the chagrin of the members of the police department.
Though Rosewood comes off as annoying at first, his charm and charisma (which Chestnut has mastered), softens not only the other characters he interacts with, but the audience as well. Rosewood is an extremely complex character and many of his various sides are yet to be seen. It’s clear that he enjoys life and wants everyone around him to do so as well, despite having his own haunting demons.
Structured similarly to Fox’s long running show “Bones”, Rosewood meets his match in an unlikely partnership with Detective Annalise Villa; a role played so ferociously by relative newcomer, Jania Lee Ortiz that it’s clear she’s destined for great things. Like Rosewood, Detective Villa is not quite who she appears to. The chemistry between the actors and the push and pull of their characters’ relationship keeps the show churning at a delicious pace.
Despite Rosewood’s charm and often-obnoxious statements, as well as his flashy equipment and car, his interest and deep fascinations lie with the dead. He gives voice to those who can no longer speak for themselves, and the high tech equipment that he uses at his office, Magic City Labs, add to the enchanting nature of the series. Television viewers who turn to medical dramas for the science of them won’t be disappointed, while TV lovers who tend to be a tad nauseated by death won’t be completely turned off either.
Unlike most pilots, “Rosewood” hits a sweet spot right off the bat. With an extremely strong cast, including the legendary Lorraine Toussaint as Rosewood’s mother, Donna, it has a perfect mix of drama and comedy. Death certainly isn’t a light subject, and “Rosewood” makes no qualms in pretending that it is. Instead, the show and the characters confront the reality of death head-on, while living and thriving despite its unforgiving nature.
Admittedly “Rosewood” surprised me. I was expecting another medical drama with little substance. But I was wrong. Obviously with Fox’s breakout hit “Empire”, the network is determined to churn out quality shows with diverse casts, effectively locking down Wednesday evenings. “Rosewood” appears to be a series that viewers will look forward to tuning into after the first episode. Shows like this work very well when they stick to a serial formula, solving a new case week after week, while stretching character arcs across the season. If the pilot is any indication, the show should continue to grow and change whilst keeping its audience invested.
For long time fans of Morris Chestnut, the series is a chance to see the actor in a more versatile and not-so serious role. And don’t worry, there will also be plenty of moments to witness the actor shirtless as well.
According to reports, Nicole Ari Parker will be joining the show as Chestnut’s love interest.
“Rosewood” premieres Wednesday, September 23rd at 8PM ET on FOX.
Aramide A Tinubu has her Master’s in Film Studies from Columbia University. She wrote her thesis on Black Girlhood and Parental Loss in Contemporary Black American Cinema. She’s a cinephile, bookworm, blogger, and NYU + Columbia University alum. You can read her blog at: www.chocolategirlinthecity.com or tweet her @midnightrami