Maria Bello is no Helen Mirren. She’s Maria Bello, which, on the New York City streets, is plenty powerful.
The guys gang up on Bello’s Jane Timoney, an American cousin to Mirren’s Jane Tennison from the British original, seen on PBS’s “Mystery!” Those were ’90s London detectives; these are today’s NYPD homicide sleuths, closing ranks against the “invading” babe.
Not that she isn’t a tough lady who’d pull a gun on a cabbie to make him put out a cigarette. So she takes her squad’s assigned grunt work and turns it into case-solving by paying attention and getting a feel for people.
There’s texture galore in this city-shot cop hour, eyed by handheld lenses echoing “Homicide’s” edge. But NBC’s “Prime Suspect” also delivers the network polish that invites the audience in.
Bello holds herself much less in reserve than Mirren’s portrayal, the career-making saintedness of which may prevent some fans from welcoming Bello’s robust take on its own terms.
On TV: 'Prime Suspects' debuts Thursday night at 10 on NBC/4