ABC’s new detective procedural Take Two, starring Rachel Bilson (Hart of Dixie) and Eddie Cibrian (CSI: Miami), could have just as easily been titled Castle: Take Two— which makes sense, since the lighthearted series hails from Andrew W. Marlowe and Terri Edda Miller, the executive producers of the Nathan Fillion/Stana Katic drama.
Thursday’s series premieres introduces us to a gender-swapped version of Rick Castle and Kate Beckett: Cibrian plays lone-wolf private investigator Eddie Valetik, who finds himself stuck with an unconventional (and uncontrollable) partner in Bilson’s Sam Swift, an actress fresh out of rehab. (She lost it when her boyfriend dumped her on the red carpet the same day that her show was cancelled.) Sam is desperate to get back to work, so when she finds a potential comeback role in a movie about a P.I., she starts shadowing Eddie, who’s not happy about having to “babysit a spoiled, over-privileged, out-of-control ego.”
Except Sam is anything but. Sure, she ignores Eddie’s instructions not to say or do anything while on a case, but that’s actually a good thing. As it turns out, Sam’s years of playing a TV cop on Hot Suspect and her actorly knowledge of body language make her a pretty good novice P.I. After the pair successfully take down a crime boss and make headlines, clients start requesting Eddie — and Sam.
Thus, a new professional partnership is born, as well as a “will they, won’t they” couple. While Eddie seems to have some kind of casual hook-up relationship with Detective Christine Rollins (Rookie Blue‘s Aliyah O’Brien), he and Sam clearly begrudgingly respect each other and are more alike than they would care to admit. “You’re just like me, Eddie. You need a shot at redemption,” Sam says after she confronts him about a case that went wrong three years ago. Their banter needs some work, though. (When they get stuck in a closet together, Sam mistakes Eddie’s gun for… excitement. #ClichesThatNeedToEnd)
The show’s cast also includes Xavier de Guzman and Alice Lee, who makes her debut in Episode 2, as Eddie and Sam’s assistants Berto and Monica. Plus, Jordan Gavaris — still sporting his British accent from Orphan Black — recurs as medical examiner Mick English, who is Sam’s biggest fan.
Speaking of fans… I love Bilson as much as the next Hart of Dixie and O.C. viewer, and I’m always in the market for a fun, easy-going summer show, but I need Take Two to be 90 percent more witty and 90 percent less by-the-numbers.
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