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Primetime Picks… 8/5/20

Aug 05 Posted by in Features | Comments

Tonight the hit Canadian drama Coroner makes its U.S. debut on The CW. The series is based on the Coroner Jenny Cooper series of novels by M. R. Hall. Jenny Cooper (Serinda Swan, Inhumans) is a former ER doctor who is still dealing with the sudden loss of her husband, and some surprises she uncovered about him. She lives with her teenage son Ross (Ehren Kassam, Degrassi: Next Class), who’s a star swimmer at his school. It was at one of his practices where Jenny’s husband suddenly collapsed from an aneurysm. Ever since that event, Jenny has been having visions of a mysterious black dog, but doesn’t know what do make of them. She’s tried relaxation tapes and self-medicating, and is seeing therapist Dr. Neil Sharma (Saad Siddiqui, Incorporated), but nothing seems to ease her anxiety. As part of the changes she’s making in her life, Jenny is starting a new job as the coroner for the Toronto Police Department, where’s she’s teamed with Det. Donovan McAvoy (Roger Cross, Dark Matter) and his partner Detective Taylor Kim (Alli Chung, UnREAL).

Jenny takes her responsibility as the new coroner very seriously, and will do anything she can to help uncover the truth for the victims she’s called in to investigate, even if that means pushing the boundaries of the law. She is very bright, and quite outspoken. Jenny will take on anyone who doesn’t have the best interests of the victims in mind. While she does encounter some bad apples at her new job, Det. Donovan McAvoy isn’t one of them—he’s a supportive, friendly guy, who also believes in finding the truth. At the same time, Jenny is trying to figure out how to move on with her own life as a mother and a widow—though the latter may not be too difficult as there’s a definite spark when her eyes meet handyman Liam Bouchard (Éric Bruneau, Trop) during one of her first cases.

I checked out the first two episodes of the series and found it to be a pretty standard but solid police/medical drama. The cases are interesting and take some unexpected turns. And I really enjoy the quickly-formed relationship between Jenny and Det. Donovan. In many shows, the relationship between these two characters would be an adversarial or a will-they-wont-they one, but this was, refreshingly, just a supportive colleague/friend one. Besides, Liam is there for the eventual steamy relationship. I also enjoyed the mother/son relationship between Jenny and Ross—they never really said how long it has been since Jenny’s husband had died, but both of them seem to have moved past the mourning/crying stage.

The series has already aired two 8-episode seasons on the CBC, which has also ordered a third, so there are plenty of cases to come, and I look forward to checking them out. In tonight’s premiere, “Black Dog”, Jenny’s first case as a coroner affects her personally, as she is called to investigate the death of a teen in a youth detention centre; her own life is upended by the death of her husband; she learns to navigate raising a teenage son on her own.

Tonight, I’ll also be watching/recording Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Tough as Nails, Big Brother, The 100, and United We Fall.