Jeff Korbelik: A&E unveils serial killer drama

2014-03-01T23:00:00Z Jeff Korbelik: A&E unveils serial killer dramaBy JEFF KORBELIK / Column JournalStar.com

I blame “Dexter.”

Since Michael C. Hall introduced us to his serial killer who kills serial killers on premium channel Showtime in 2006, broadcast and cable networks have quickly rolled out a slew of murdering maniacs.

Heck, the last couple of years have included “Hannibal” (NBC), “The Following” (Fox), “The Bridge” (FX) and “The Killing” (AMC).

On Monday, the latest will premiere. A&E gives us “Those Who Kill,” a drama starring Chloe Sevigny (“Big Love,” “American Horror Story”) as a homicide detective who tracks down serial killers. A&E is pairing it with its serial killer-in-the-making drama "Bates Motel."

You’ll find out the reason for Sevigny's character's job choice in the pilot, which airs at 9 p.m. on Time Warner Cable channels 47, 204 and 1204).

Based on a 2011 Danish crime series inspired by author Elsebeth Egholm, the Sevigny vehicle is dark. It’s also a bit disjointed, often leaving viewers struggling to connect dots, such as why Sevigny’s detective turns to a forensic psychologist played by James D’Arcy and why his relationship with the police department is strained.

The pilot also contained a few eye-rolling scenes. Why don’t law enforcement officials ever wait for backup? Why would you leave a serial killer alone with a victim, even if the victim is law enforcement? Frustrating.

Still, Sevigny is quite good. Her character is complex, with a backstory, that we’re slowly finding out, for turning her into the kind of person she is. D’Arcy also holds his own. He may remind some of Hugh Dancy’s Will Graham on “Hannibal” -- a tortured soul who is appalled, yet intrigued by serial killers. Their “relationship” will keep me coming back for now. Grade: B-

The week also includes the debuts of two new cable comedies:

“Saint George,” 8 p.m. Thursday, FX (channels 61, 205 and 1205). George Lopez is back, but maybe he should have stayed away.

He plays a recently divorced wealthy entrepreneur/night school teacher caught between his ex-wife (Jenny Lyon) and his mother (Olga Merediz). His life is further complicated by an uncle, a miscast Danny Trejo (he’s much funnier as a B-movie villain), a cousin (David Zayas, who, at least, has some comedic chops) and an aggressive boss (Diana Maria Riva).

The pilot features Lopez attempting to date after his divorce. The punchlines are predictable, with jokes about weight, graying hair and sexting. Lopez is a funny man. I would love to see him do something that’s not so formulaic. Grade: D+

“Sirens,” 9 p.m. Thursday, USA (channels 27, 201, 1201). This one is for those who miss the raunchy comedy of Denis Leary. He’s co-creator and executive producer of the sitcom along with Bob Fisher of “Wedding Crashers” fame.

The comedy is “Rescue Me”-like, but lighter, with less angst.

The series stars Michael Mosley, Kevin Daniels and Kevin Bigley as Chicago EMTs, who are better at their jobs than their personal lives. The humor here is crude, with one upcoming episode based entirely on watching porn.

Still, there are some funny bits -- such as the EMTs trying to teach kids “SpeedPR” as opposed to CPR -- and Bigley, as the naive one, is a scene stealer. Grade: C+

Reach Jeff Korbelik at 402-473-7213 or jkorbelik@journalstar.com, or follow him @LJSjeffkorbelik.

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