TNT's King & Maxwell: Could It Be a Page-Turner?

KingAndMaxwellTNT’s ever-robust summertime slate continued to unspool on Monday night with the premiere King & Maxwell, a drama inspired by a series of David Baldacci novels. But will the TV version prove to be a page-turner?

RATINGS | Falling Skies Returns Steady

The light drama stars Jon Tenney (The Closer) and Rebecca Romijn (Ugly Betty) as the titular Sean King and Michelle Maxwell, former Secret Service agents who now work as private eyes after setbacks in their previous jobs (in the form of an assassination and a kidnapping, respectively).

In the series opener (which was loosely based on Baldacci’s The Sixth Man), Sean’s lawyer friend Ted is murdered under mysterious circumstances. Looking into the crime, all while dogged by nosy FBI agents, Sean turns to Edgar Roy (Sons of Anarchy‘s Ryan Hurst), an accused serial killer — and autistic savant — that Ted was defending.

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As the pilot unfolded, the largely mute Edgar’s cryptic reference to “The Wall” was revealed — in the form of a bank of satellite surveillance monitors that he, as a “real-time intelligence analysis” guinea pig of sorts for the government, would monitor (and “consume” with his incredible mind). When Edgar observed a crime that could implicate a defense contractor, a cover-up ensued, with him as the target and Ted’s young new hire an embedded conspirator.

Along the way, we were made privy to King and Maxwell’s rapport with each other, one founded in an obvious respect for each other’s skills and smarts, with (thus far) almost no whiff of flirtatiousness, save for when Michelle changes clothes in front of her partner.

Were you happy to see Jon Tenney at long last in a lead role? Did he and Romijn match up well on screen? Vote in our premiere poll and share your reviews in comments.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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23 Comments
  1. Lisa says:

    The promos looked too cutesy buddy cop, but I like Tenney from The Closer so I checked it out. Very pleasantly surprised. Liked the characterization of Maxwell. LOVED the twists and turns in the story. I will tune in!

  2. peggy says:

    I love Jon Tenney and will watch again but found the characters too predictable. Too cutesy. Sometimes good shows just start out that way and greatly improve so here’s hoping!

  3. Alichat says:

    Did anyone else think the opening and theme music were rather…..meh?

  4. Alichat says:

    Oh….forgot to add…..20 points to the person who spotted the Whedon actor in the episode.

  5. cookie says:

    I really like it. They seem like they will make good solid partners. I’ll give it a chance and watch. I read somewhere that as the show progresses the cases will become more engaging. Good work Jon and Rebecca!!!

  6. Eli says:

    I like the characters of Sean and Michelle, in the books and on the show and I like the actors portraying them. I thought the banter between them was well done. Unfortunately, that was basically all that was really good about it.
    Other dialogue was trite and clichéd. The plot started out somewhat interesting, but got more and more “silly” as the hour progressed, not to mention all the plotholes. The ending was way too convenient with everything being wrapped up perfectly.
    And in general the story really suffered from being squeezed into a 40 minute package. In my opinion if they want to do the stories justice they should give them some room to breathe and spread them out over 2-3 separate episodes.
    Gave it a ‘C’. The potential is there, just the execution needs to be much better.

  7. BobLee says:

    Love Baldacci and these characters…. will be watching. Another he-cop / she-cop, both attractive…. with lots of snarky byplay repartee. She is almost “too pretty”. I prefer Castle’s Kate Beckett…. or the new she-cop on Motive.

  8. Andy Mueller says:

    Disappointed in the Pilot but will give it a couple of more episodes. I am huge fans of Baldacci’s books and it really bothered me how they distorted the plot form the Sixth Man. Maybe the fact that I read it recently and had the details fresh in my mind made it hard to look past the distortion. The sixth man would probably have trouble fitting into a 2 hour movie format as well

  9. H.Houston says:

    I thought Ryan Hurst was absolutely phenomenal in this role. I love the premise and it has been added to my DVR list.

  10. Mike says:

    I wanted to like it, however, to say it was predictable was an understatement. The real killer was obvious from the start and it pushed the edge of reason. Piping in a live stream during a congressional hearing that aired CSPAN? The characters are fine the story was just poorly written. These types of shows depend on the acting of the guest stars, and many of these actors where not great.

  11. Jane says:

    Considering the horrible way they have butchered the Rizzoli and Isles books I’m afraid to even try this one.

  12. Suncatcher says:

    I really liked this new show. Love Tenney and Baldacci and Hurst – throw in a dash of Romijn and I was set for the evening! I loved the opening cartoonery credits – classy – and Maxwell opening the pilot with a downtown car chase of a tour bus being driven by a deranged beaver. Honest! Kudos to production/direction/Shane Brennan for the feature film feeling of the pilot (see Maxwell sculling early in the morning). Although a lot was thrown at the viewer in this one hour pilot, I did not think it was unmanageable and there was much to learn about all these characters. Not sure about the 2 FBI guys who kept popping in. Seemed like they stumbled onto the wrong set. Some tweaking to do but, overall, I’d give the pilot a solid B+ and will definitely be back for S1/E2 – with a strong recommendation for folks to give it a try!

  13. MC Maine says:

    Very, very average. Tenney and Romijn had good chemistry and I liked some of their lines, but this was plot-by-numbers predictable; it could have been on any one of a dozen crime dramas. And I’m so tired of the plot device of the nasty FBI agents being mean to local cops/private detectives/whatever. How can the writers stand to churn out that old chestnut over and over again?

    I’ll give it one more try just because I like Tenney and Romijn, but I’m not optimistic.

  14. Babygate says:

    I was underwhelmed. I liked Tenney in The Closer but he doesn’t work for me here. He looks too run down. The idea of him beating up big muscled guys is laughable when he looks like he’s running out of breath. Rebecca was good but not great and IMO, they really have no chemistry. All the banter felt forced. Like they were trying too hard to be funny or endearing. The story itself was interesting but the writing was less than stellar. It just felt unrealistic. And those two FBI agents that kept showing up were beyond annoying and made no sense. Like they were purposefully trying to look incompetent just so King and Maxwell could look like the heroes. I was actually disappointed, mostly because I was really looking forward to this.

  15. Luis says:

    So happy to see Jon Tenney get a show of his own – I have always loved his work. I have high hopes for the show.

  16. Sheldon W. says:

    King & Maxwell = Deeks & Kinsey Lite. (No surprise there – the show’s creator also created and runs NCIS:LA.)

    There’s potential there (Rizzoli & Isles was pretty bad when it began and has become decent enough), but I just don’t know if I want to wait for it to develop when there are so many great shows on over the summer (Covert Affairs, Longmire, Under the Dome, Twisted, Graceland, Magic City, Wilfred, etc).

  17. Marci says:

    I’ve been waiting for John Tenney to star in a successful series. This looks like a good vehicle for him. It’s a keeper for me.

  18. claudia clare says:

    Very disappointing. Baldachi didnt write these two characters as TNT shows them.
    They act like Laurel & Hardy. I enjoy good mysteries, but not slap stick. Will not be watching again.

  19. Janice W says:

    Loved King and Maxwell! I think the characters were cast perfectly with Tenney and Romijn. They had good chemistry and I liked the way they handled a very difficult job of giving the background it was a lot to put into the first one hour show. Why can’t people just sit back and enjoy a good program without knit picking every detail, I polled by circle of friends (both men and women) that were waiting for this series to begin all stated that they are looking forward to the first season. As a whole I believe this show has great potential and why not let the show grow a little before you decided you think if it not worth watching. This show is on our DVR list so we don’t miss an episode.. We are all huge Baldacchi fans and this is a good representation of the books when everything has to be condensed down into less than an hour.

    • Bobby Singer says:

      I totally agree.! WHY CAN’T A TV.STATION GIVE A SHOW A CHANCE. THIS IS A GREAT SHOW WITH GREAT ACTING; THEIR SECTARY (I forgot his name) ABSOLUTELY ADDS TO THE GREATNESS OF THIS SHOW WITH HIS DRY HUMOR; THE FBI GUY ALSO ADDS TO THE DRY HUMOR. I LOVE TO WATCH THE EXPRESSIONS ON THE SECTARY FACE WHEN HE IS COMPUTING THINGS IN HIS MIND (YOU BLINK & HE HAS THE ANSWER ). PLEASE GIVE THIS SHOW A CHANCE. I LOOK FORWARD TO WATCHING THIS SHOW; & I AM PLANNING ON BUYING SEASON ONE !!!!!! BOBBY SINGER

  20. Gus says:

    I hope Baldacci was paid wll because the T V writers have butchered the story and the characters.

  21. I love the plots, characters and chemistry. If TNT and viewers will give it a chance I think this will be a hot damn show!!!