TV Review: Rosewood 1×01, “Pilot”


On some far off island in a fictional world or absurdist parallel universe, everything in Rosewood doesn’t come off as false. This Miami has a world renowned medical examiner that is better than any forensic analyst or detective in the city. His name is Dr. Rosewood and it’ll be your pleasure to meet him. He also has a heart condition so remember it because it’s important. When working a case, he comes up against Detective Villa (Jaina Lee Ortiz), who is stereotypically stubborn and unwilling to let Rosewood join her investigation. Then they team up, have some bland banter that tries too hard to be funny, and go through generic/predictable story exposition until we catch a personality-less villain. It can only go up from here, right?

Because what FOX really needs right now is another by-the-book procedural crime drama. Especially when they have a similar show about a forensic anthropologist and a FBI agent already in their possession. I guess David Boreanaz could stand to be shirtless several times an episode, but that might be the only lesson Rosewood could offer Bones. My guess is that someone with an incalculable heart condition problem shouldn’t be running several times again. Then again, if Chestnut wasn’t running shirtless in the show, what would audiences have to look at?

Character development is built through addressing the characters flaws and showing them work through it, but Rosewood comes off as immaculate, minus the medical flaws. Every time Rosewood walks into a room, it feels like he is Mister Rogers and the rest of the cast is his puppet filled neighborhood. He can do no wrong and everything he says is right. He knows it, everyone around him knows it, but for the hell of it let’s bombard the audience until they know it too. He sees himself as infallible and as gods gift to women, and that in itself feels as tired as it does insulting. Unfortunately, that isn’t even the most insulting part.

The entire premise of the show revolves around Miami’s need for a private forensic examiner because the ones the city has aren’t enough/inadequate. In the opening 5 minutes, he walks on to a crime scene, tells the forensic person the cause of death, tells the detective what happened and thanks himself on behalf of the Miami PD. To top it off, when Rosewood is examining a body later on, he finds some pretty big clues that somehow were missed by the city’s coroner early on. Then, when it is the detective’s time to shine, she just ends up breaking a lot of rules and doing illegal things to get her answers and her culprit. So aside from inept, apparently Miami PD is also crooked.

This show is clearly marketed towards the female demographic, focusing on Chestnut’s physique and natural charm. What the showrunners probably didn’t count on is their character being too charming, going past the point of arrogance. Chestnuts sex appeal and the exotic Miami landscape aren’t enough to blind the viewer, regardless of gender. It does provide a temporary distraction, but once you see past it you realize just how much every other aspect of the show is unappealing. Even the refreshing amount of diversity comes off as another visual ploy to keep us from noticing that this show has been done to death. Even the talented cast, including veterans like Morris Chestnut and Lorraine Toussaint, are completely squandered here.

Rosewood, much like its lead character, will have a much shorter life than it originally expected.

RATING: ★★ (2/10 stars)

Jon would say that as a writer, he is a self-proclaimed film snob and a pop culture junkie. Always gives his honest, critical, and maybe a little bit snarky opinion on everything. He's very detail oriented and loves anything involving creativity and innovation. You're better off asking him who his favorite director is rather than his favorite film. So beware and get ready to be entertained. You can contact him at or follow him on twitter @DystopianHero. (Also, he doesn't always refer to himself in the third person, but sometimes he just has to).
  • I really like Morris Chestnut so I was pretty excited for this show, but the pilot was a bit iffy…it was like they were trying way too hard to establish all the quirks of his character. I will say this though, I thought the same thing about the first few episodes of Hannibal, and that ended up being a really good show…so I’ll give it a chance. Oh and I also loved how they used “Go” by The Chemical Brothers during the opening scene – that’s one of my favorite running songs, too I’m glad Rosewood and I think alike.