10 March 2009
Saving Grace: The Review
Grace Hanadarko is a crass, self-destructive hedonist. She also happens to be a police homicide investigator. She's busy destroying her (male) partner's marriage. She's may be an officer, but she's not a "good guy." Then, an angel enters her life. A real honest-to-God Angel: Earl.
Earl isn't your Touched by an Angel, goody-goody angel. Nope. He's a tough as nails, Last Chance Angel and he's there to save both Grace and a guy on death row, Leon Cooley.
It sounds pretty hokey. And Grace isn't a likable sort. And I may not have been the bestest learner in Catechism classes growing up, but I'm pretty sure we never talked about "Last Chance Angels." And, despite it all, this may be my favorite show on TV right now.
An angel comes to save Grace and she ain't buying it. Does the angel go away? No. Does Grace see the error in her ways after a couple episodes and reform? No. Earl persists, refusing to cease in his efforts to save Grace. Grace persists, continuing to choose to err, suffering serious consequences for her failures, and driving on with bluster, cussedness, and grit - and we start to see the parts of Grace which, while rough hewn, may allow her to live up to her name. Meanwhile, we are drawn in and a large cast of characters have been brought into play (Grace's flawed family - including a priest brother, her best friend the forensic analyst, the officers she works hard and plays harder with). And we also see Earl's persistent efforts with the just as stubborn Leon on death row and how this is interwoven with Grace's life.
It's a parable on a large scale and, much like a parable, the exact meaning of the story is hard to fathom. Is it the persistence of God's offer of grace? Is it about how God wants us to work to help our fellow man (Grace to save Leon) (Grace's friend and brother who seem to be getting roped into helping her by Earl)? Is it about the forgiveness of the failures of others? It's probably all these plus. This lends a depth to this series which one rarely finds on television.
It's on Mondays at 9 or you can watch episodes over at TNT online. Check it out. You may not like it, but I bet you get hooked.
Author: Ken Lammers on 3/10/2009