Your review: "Cold Case" and "Without a Trace"

I saw some trailers on SAT TV for the following two shows and they looked pretty good. Haven’t invested the time yet to check them out. Anyone know if these shows are any good?

According to Neilson they are ranked in the Top 20.

I have the 1st season on DVD and the 2nd season is currently airing on regular TV here in Taipei. Channel 13 in Mucha.

Without a Trace is an Anthony LaPaglia vehicle in which he heads up a hip, young team of missing persons investigators for the FBI. It’s an intelligent show.

Tony P is doing far better work these days. His abysmal turn in the Grisham movie The Client had pretty much put me off ever watching this guy act again. He seems to have been told that less is more, because he is very interesting to watch these days.

As for the writing of the show, it is very clever. People go missing for all kinds of reasons, and as the team investigates the MP’s life, a time line develops, reconstructing the events surrounding the disappearance. Not everything is afoul of the law as they race the clock, each investigator knowing that after 48 hours, it’s highly unlikely they will succeed.

What I like is that there is a sensitivity that runs thru these characters as they focus on the grey tones. Too many cop shows, no matter how clever the plot twists, are all too black and white. Without a Trace seamlessly blends this sensitivity into the characterizations and plotlines, well, without a trace.

It has carved a niche, stylistically, as well. CSI has its “bulletcam”, Law&Order, its setting subtitles and “bum bum”. WaT has more than a few signature elements: from the opening washing out of the missing person as they fade into the mist, to the simple time line on a white board and the re-enactment of the scenes witnesses bring to bare (forcing the viewer to sift thru fact or fiction, lies and truth), all while the clock ticks, creates a deliciously-unique pacing.

Hell, they even went to Tikrit, Iraq in a show to investigate a missing soldier who disappeared just after returning stateside. I like how, in this particular case, the soldier’s motivation remained blurry. Was he doing it for love, or as a result of PTS? Good show.

Particularly gripping was the Dr. turns terrorist episode. Especially the last scene. Damn, I am getting goosebumps thinking about it.

Without a Trace plays every weekday night at 11:00 PM. As I said, it’s Channel 13 in Mucha. Later today, I will find out the name of the station, unless someone else beats me to it.

Enjoy WaT. I know I am.