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Of all the TV genres, crime dramas seem to be on the rise. It is a long time since 21 Jump Street debuted in the US (1987), but still we have a fascination with the idea of the police being presented with a criminal case and figuring it out seemingly with little effort.
The latest addition to the crime drama menu is King, a Canadian show about Jessica King (Amy Price-Francis), who is a veteran hardcore police officer. She is unexpectedly promoted to Chief of the Major Crimes Task Force in Toronto after her boss is fired.
This promotion is a challenge for her as she needs to prove to her colleagues why she deserves the job. A number of other candidates wanted the job, but she was the chosen one and that means the pressure is on.
We start the season with the case of a missing girl and you can’t help but think of the old-school cop dramas Homicide and the original Law & Order. But what makes King more appealing is that it is Canadian, and therefore a fresh breath of air from the usual US material.
For it to make it as far as SA only means it was good enough to occupy what is otherwise “US airtime”.
Apart from the various cases that form part of every episode, the show spends a lot of time giving the viewer an insight into King’s life, the past and the present. She has survived two failed marriages yet still yearns for a proper family with children and a dog. But with her kind of career, long hours and crime on the pounce 24/7, she can’t afford to give her heart away.
Also, fashionistas will be shocked to see her “stuck in the 1990s” look. Perhaps for her, real life ended then and all she now has is her job. And it is this job that is so hardcore she has had three motor-cycle accidents and lived to tell the tales.
As you get into the show, you realise that although she gets the results, King does not always use orthodox means to do so. Also, she goes to incredible lengths to solve her cases and sometimes you might think she’s more extreme than necessary.
But it all is being done by a woman and since it is Women’s Month, what better place to start than this female-led police drama?
• King premieres on August 30 at 8.30pm on Sony Entertainment Television (SET).