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Saving Grace season two: An early look

by Jane Boursaw, posted Jun 30th 2008 12:02PM
Saving Grace Season TwoI didn't watch the first season of Saving Grace, but over the weekend, I had an opportunity to screen the second season premiere, titled 'Have a Seat, Earl.' The show is gritty and heartbreaking, and it's shooting to the top of my Must-Watch List.

First of all, let's get this out of the way: I want Holly Hunter's body. The girl just turned 50 in March, and her body is as fit and toned as a 20-year-old triathlete. Only better, because she's got all the wisdom of a 50-year-old soul.

OK, on to the story. I won't give a blow-by-blow of the episode, which premieres July 14, 10/9c on TNT, but I will talk about key plot-points, so if you're averse to spoilers, you'd best quit reading here. Don't say I didn't warn you.

If you're not familiar with the show, it follows the life of Grace Hanadarko (played by Hunter), a wild-haired, ultra-intense police detective in Oklahoma City. She hunts down criminals with a vengeance and doles out a special brand of justice for anyone who hurts women or children.

All of this translates into a no-holds-barred approach to crime-solving. In short, Grace tosses the rule book out like yesterday's trash and will do whatever it takes to bring in the bad guys, even if it means holding them hostage in her apartment for three days.

On the other hand, Grace's personal life is an out-of-control train wreck speeding down the track. She drinks like a carp, has sex like a prostitute, and feels horribly guilty over the death of her sister in the Oklahoma City bombing. She's not averse to bedding down co-workers either, including partner and current flame Hamilton "Ham" Dewey (Kenneth Johnson), fellow cop Butch Ada (Bailey Chase), and medical examiner Henry Silver (Mark L. Taylor from Boston Legal).

Other people in Grace's life: her best friend and criminalist colleague Rhetta Rodriguez (Laura San Giacomo); long-standing friend Captain Kate Perry (Lorraine Toussaint); and Detective Bobby Stillwater (Gregory Cruz), a Native American who loves his family and has that strong, quiet Native American thing going.

There's another person in Grace's life -- or rather, another being. That would be Earl (Leon Rippy, who played Tom Nuttall on Deadwood). Earl is a grizzled, rough gem of an angel -- yes, the kind with wings, and sometimes we even see them. Earl has been given the thankless task of taming Grace's wild ways, and needless to say, it's a challenge. But Earl has his own folksy way of getting through to Grace, and sometimes it involves dreams.

Last season, Earl led Grace to Father Patrick Murphy (Rene Auberjonois), a priest who sexually abused scores of children back in the day, including Grace. In this episode, she's both gleeful and tortured over the fact that she's got Father Murphy tied up in her apartment. She taunts him with a gun, places a raw steak strategically on his lap for her dog to grab, and dreams of murdering him. Instead, she takes him into the station and hands him over.

When the priest turns up with a bullet in his head, the department starts checking alibis of everyone who has a history with Murphy, including Grace.

Holly Hunter is so intense as Grace Hanadarko that you wonder if she manages to relax when she's not working. This episode starts off with a bang -- literally. While having lunch with Rhetta, Grace sees a crime in progress and takes off after the guy. A couple of bystanders get shot, and a canine officer ends up in the hospital (which tears Grace up more than the wounded humans). Turns out the guy was on the FBI list, and after he dies during the pursuit, Grace is a hero -- well, after she passes her sobriety test, that is. An old foe told the cops she'd seen Grace drinking earlier that day.

At any rate, Grace's life is all very complex, and I'm really glad the series made it to season two. She's like Lindsay Boxer from Women's Murder Club, only times 100. And since Women's Murder Club was canceled, I need a new show about a damaged female just trying to get by in the world.

Now I'll have to go back and watch the first season of Saving Grace and get caught up. Unfortunately, it won't be available on DVD until July 15, 2008, so I'll be watching both seasons simultaneously. I hate it when that happens. Probably not as much as Grace hates the bad guys, though. Which is why I'll have to do it.

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I can't remember the last time I liked a show this much. There are so many levels of interest. The love story, the loss, the heartbreak, the leap of faith. Grace is a character I want to be. So Brave. I love that she doesn't care what anyone thinks. The confidence, the courage and the fact that she is simple and complicated all at the same time. My favorite is that she doesn't allow anyone to see her heart hurting. My only knock is that season 2 is over and I have to wait until March 2009 for the next start. LOVE THE SHOW. THANK YOU TNT!

September 09 2008 at 8:00 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply


August 31 2008 at 2:18 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

This is a great show...with Grace you just never know whats going to happen...i am very glad its back for a 2nd season.......

July 15 2008 at 1:47 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Jane, this show is an amazing piece of work and I am very glad that it is finally coming back for S2. You (and everyone that hasn't seen it yet) need to set the time aside to catch up when S1 is released on DVD. As fantastic as TNT was for bringing Kyra Sedgwick and "The Closer" into our lives, Grace just blows right by as if Kyra were standing still. I'm still amazed the show didn't get canceled midseason because of all the sex, drinking, swearing and violence - but I'm sure glad it didn't.

I've talked to so many friends that were put off by how awful and coarse a person Grace (and by default, the show) seems. It took a few shows before it grabbed me by the shoulders and shook me HARD but after that point I was hooked bad. Unfortunately, I think a lot of people gave up before they really understood the show and are missing out on some fantastic television. Hopefully, S2 will get their attention and they can do some catching up as well. Holly Hunter ROCKS!!

My only complaint (and its a small one actually) is that the show tries TOO hard to play like they are in Ok City. I lived there for 30 years and appreciate many of the little things (whoo-hoo!!! Johnnie's burgers!!!) but come on, there's WAY too much tacky OU stuff that no self redeeming fan would actually put up the way they do. Add the wrong areas of town and wrong directions or street names pronounced incorrectly and it takes it down a notch for me. It was especially bad during the tornado episode last season - one of the best eps of the season otherwise. Nitpicking, yeah probably so but when they get that other 99% so good I just want it to be perfect!

June 30 2008 at 7:59 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

There are very few shows I count down for, but this is one of them. You know a show is good when you are sad the episode has ended and can't wait for the next one.

June 30 2008 at 4:44 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Catching up on Saving Grace, Season 1 will definitely be worth your time. And I have to agree that Holly Hunter's body definitely doesn't look like it's been around for 50 years!

June 30 2008 at 3:05 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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