Memphis Beat' premiere review: Good rhythms Episode 1

Memphis Beat sidled its way onto TV looking, at first, as though it was just another cop show. Worse, a cop show with a “break-the-rules” rebel facing a “by the book” boss. Worse still, another cop show with an Elvis impersonator sight-gag.

But pretty soon, the charm of Jason Lee as Memphis Police detective Dwight Hendricks began to insinuate itself into the hour. Lee’s Dwight is a polite, humble man with a shrewd toughness - much like his hero, Elvis Presley, was in his prime. (And no, while Dwight may croon Elvis songs on this show, he was not an impersonator - the white-jumpsuited imposters were relegated to a few brief seconds.) As for his new boss, Lt. Tanya Rice, she was played by Alfre Woodard with a warmth and prickly humor that quickly transcended the usual stiff-grump role this kind of character usually offers in this genre.

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