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TV REVIEWS : CBS’ ‘Sirens’: Watchable but Bland

CBS began this season with the female homicide detectives of the short-lived “Angel Street.” Now ABC is completing it with the female rookies of “Sirens,” a watchable yet undistinctive drama series about three fresh-from-the-academy policewomen, premiering at 10 tonight on Channels 7, 3, 10 and 42.

The first episode is low on intensity but . . . pleasant. Rookie cops Molly (Liza Snyder), Lynn (Adrienne-Joi Johnson) and Sarah (Jayne Brook) are friends who are juggling private lives while tenuously starting their Pittsburgh police careers together, facing similar obstacles while trying to make their way in this male-dominated law-enforcement universe.

Although Lynn and Sarah are given male training officers as partners, creator-executive producer Ann Lewis Hamilton nicely goes against the grain by having Molly be the one who runs into a brick wall. It comes in the person of Molly’s veteran female partner, Officer Schiller (Deirdre O’Connell), a surly, resentful, abrasive mighty mite of a veteran who delights in showing up her green cohort.

It’s their edgy relationship that gives the premiere most of its emotional texture, compared with the relatively bland pairings of married Sarah with hunky Officer Dan (John Terlesky) and single mom Lynn with 50-year-old Officer Buddy (Tim Thomerson).

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Given television’s vast cop-show repertoire, there’s a pat look to this series, one of the reasons being that all three rookies just happen to be very good looking. The inevitable butt-pinching male arrives in Episode 2, an hour that turns a stationhouse basketball game into a heavy-handed metaphor for uppity macho types getting their comeuppance.

The initial two episodes find the rookies facing a number of firsts: First full-body search, first chase, first corpse, first man urinating on the doorstep of a woman--who insists the perpetrator be arrested for “assault with a deadly weapon.” Cute line. That “Sirens” itself is less than original, however, does not bode well.


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