“Instinct: Season One”


Amos Lassen

Dr. Dylan Reinhart (Alan Cumming) is an author and collefe professor who lives quietly and teaches psychopathic behavior to packed classes of students who love him. When top NYPD detective Lizzie Needham (Bojana Novakovic) appeals to him to help her catch a serial murderer who is using Dylan’s first book as a tutorial, Dylan is compelled by the case and leaves retirement, his students and academia and returns to his old skill set. Though Dylan and Lizzie clash at first, when it comes to catching killers, they realize they will make an ideal team if they both trust their instincts. There is something else dynamic here and that is that this series has earned praise as the first American crime procedural to feature an openly gay lead character. It is so great that we are no longer the victims.

Reinhart had been a former CIA agent but has now turned successful author and professor. His publisher Joan Ross (Whoopi Goldberg) tells Dylan that his most recent storyline is missing the magic that was present in his first book and suggests that he needs to become active in the field again to regain his lost writers mojo. This is one reason that he decides to tag team with Lizzie and their on screen tag team magic is quite evident from the first moment. They feed off of each other in solving murders. This particular serial killer murders each victim and leave one of fifty-two playing cards at the murder scene. Needham and Dylan have to figure out the cards clue in solving the next murder before it happens. There is greaton screen chemistry between actors Cummings and Novakovic making this series to be very entertaining. Reinhart was leading a simple life with his husband Andy Wilson (Daniel Ings). That changed with Lizzie.

Lizzie’s boss and best friend Jasmine (Sharon Leal) was being pressured by the mayor who insisted that  Lizzie solve the case soon. With help from a mysterious friend from Dylan’s past named Julian (Naveen Andrews) who could provide some information that NYPD could not find, Dylan and Lizzie were able to crack this case and begin a wonderful partnership.

Dylan’s character as a gay man would mean no romance with the female lead. You can see this as positive or negative, since we have to admit that sometimes the possible romance between the male and female lead would be a nice incentive and intriguing to see what comes next. But it could also be anticlimactic when the relationship has been achieved. Now having no romance on the other hand could be good as we would not be bothered by the “relationship” part and focused only on the investigations.

Alan Cumming is quite charming as the bit of socially awkward character and a great professor. Bojana Novakovic seemed to be a bit covered by Cumming’s onscreen presence at times. Nonetheless, but it felt like they were a bit non balanced. However, their chemistry is quite good and their banters are interesting. Julian who is portrayed nicely by Naveen Andrews is mysterious and has some great lines. Having only 13 episodes in the first season is good and there are also bits and pieces that reveal more of Dylan’s history, Julian’s secrecy and Lizzie’s past keeping us.  This is a police procedural drama series, with a lead character who is quite charming and partnered with a young female homicide detective.  It is funny, charming, exciting and intriguing .

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