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Maybe I’m just drunk, but Rizzoli and Isles is crazy

Jane Rizzoli is supposed to be from a blue-collar Boston family ... but she's clearly not. I'm not the only one who notices this, right?

Sure, maybe I had like a bottle and a half of wine last night, but there are some important things that need to be discussed. I had some people over to dinner last night who went to college at Tufts in Boston, so naturally conversation turned to Beantown. I asked one of my friends if he had ever seen Rizzoli and Isles, because I was really looking for someone who has spent time in the area to help me make sense of this series.

Unfortunately he had no idea what I was talking about, but if he had I’m sure he would agree with me (because that’s how my world works, okay?). I really enjoy Rizzoli and Isles, but this show makes absolutely no sense to me from a geographical standpoint. I’ve been to Boston, but I’ve never lived there. However, I have lived in New York City, and I feel as though their civil servant jobs are the same … they’re held basically by third-generation city natives.

If you go to New York and talk to your average Times Square cop, his family has lived in Queens for at least four generations, and he has absolutely no idea where the Toys R Us is, despite the fact that it is literally right behind him. According to the show, Jane Rizzoli comes from one of those families. Unfortunately, there are a few problems with this.

The main problem? Angie Harmon is straight-up from Texas. She’s better in this role than any other one in which I’ve seen her, but she has a hardcore Dallas accent. On top of this, Lorraine Bracco plays her mother, and as anyone who has watched The Sopranos knows, she is 100% from New York, and she sounds the part.

Rizzoli and Isles is a really enjoyable show — certainly one of TNT’s better offerings in the past few seasons, but the whole accent thing keeps on bugging me week after week. Half of the people who write for this site are from Massachusetts, but I’m not one of them. Maybe I have no idea what I’m talking about, but this seems kind of crazy to me.

What about the rest of you? Is this something that bugs you as well, or am I just nuts? Please let me know; I’m trying to resolve the argument in my head.

Photo Credit: TNT

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9 Responses to “Maybe I’m just drunk, but Rizzoli and Isles is crazy”

August 16, 2010 at 8:22 AM

You are not crazy, but I’ve long given up on expecting everyone to sound like they are from where the shows are set. Crossing Jordan was much the same way.

August 16, 2010 at 10:37 AM

You are definitely not crazy! I couldn’t even watch past the first episode, Bracco was so miscast.

Then again, we Bostonians really don’t talk like the Kennedys anyway … someone tell that to the Leverage folks.

August 21, 2010 at 9:11 PM

Phew I knew I wasn’t crazy.

I had six episodes sitting here and since I felt like drama today (instead of countless more hours of the usually always enjoyable Craig Ferguson) I just pressed play and had them running in the background.

The whole show is a stunt and weird. First of all I don’t like Gretchen Witter in the role of the nerdy coroner/CSI-agent, then I don’t like the way they try to make this even remotely resemble “The Departed” with a family they pretend is italian which it so extremely non-believable, then the “detective” to me seems to be a Calista Flockhart ripoff in her role, always looking for new guys and having an almost too-intimate relationship with her “parter”. And don’t get me started about the storylines. So over top taken from weird ideas. And that “shot detector” for the whole city nearly had me in tears. The pretend as if there’s microphones all over the city detecing gunshots in episode four. And then the mother reacting to the victim laying at the crime-scene. Overall ALL the people close to the victims reacting… extremely over-acted.

Hm. Wait. I guess that IS what they were going for. “Quirky”. Over the top like “Ally McBeal”. The only show I just can’t stand watching that’s so squarely aimed at women.

Anyway, I guess the show isn’t actually bad it’s just not aimed at me. But I have to say if it really IS done that way then the over-long tongues flapping out (what I call the bugs-bunny effects on Ally McBeal) are missing.

August 16, 2010 at 11:46 AM

Debbie, that’s definitely true, but I’ve heard Keith on the Podclack. I think you guys sound a little more “Boston” than you realize… Certainly more Boston than anyone on that show, with the exception of Donnie Wahlberg, who is actually from that area.

August 16, 2010 at 12:13 PM

The Boston accent is a tricky thing. I can almost always tell when an actor is actually from Boston when they are doing the accent. No one jumps to mind as doing a really convincing one (though I haven’t seen Departed. Did those guys do well?) who is not from the state. Even folks who spent a lot of time in the city (Julliane Moore went to school here, but did a terrible accent on 30 Rock) can’t seem to pull it off.

Being a Mad Men fan, Kona, you should check out the MA Med parodies on Filthy, filthy language, but hilariously Boston. Joey McIntyre and Nate Corddry star (both MA natives).

Another example: I was watching Inglourious Basterds this weekend and noticed Eli Roth sporting a very convincing Boston accent in one scene and looked him up on imdb — he’s a Boston native.

I still find it odd that people think Keith has a Boston accent…

August 16, 2010 at 12:21 PM

Keith has a touch of a Boston accent, but I would bet, Kona, that you wouldn’t be able to peg Bob or I as Bostonians.

And to clarify my Leverage comment, Tim Hutton is from the area and I have no problem with him. It’s the guest stars … Tom Skeritt as his dad had a hideous accent.

August 16, 2010 at 12:38 PM

Yes, Skerrit’s was terrible, and he also seemed to give up on it about halfway through the episode.

August 16, 2010 at 1:54 PM

If you think Angie Harmon has a hardcore Dallas accent, you have not spent a lot of time in Dallas.

September 12, 2010 at 4:04 AM

i noticed a couple of things that remind me of crossing jordan
1 boston
2 irish sounding theme song
3 detective + med.exam.
4 family run bar
… anyone else notice?