The gold standard, and aside from Hallmark Hall of Fame flicks, last remaining network TV movie series, Jesse Stone, debuts its latest installment, Jesse Stone: Benefit of the Doubt, this Sunday night at 9 pm/8c on CBS.
For the uninitiated, Stone is based on the Robert B. Parker character, and the movies have been a mix of based-on-novels and new stories. Series star Tom Selleck has the film rights to all of the books and he’s very lovingly adapted the character and the source material into an impeccable set of movies.
When we last left Jesse, he was still out as Paradise police chief and newly reeling from the death of a young girl he’d previously known and been unable to save. This time, in Benefit of the Doubt, he’s still trying to get his job back while he works a double murder case. As anyone who’s a fan of these films (there have been seven so far) can tell you, plot is incidental to character.
The real joy is watchingÂ Jesse meander through the relationships with the wonderful cast of characters who populate his past and present lives in Boston and Paradise. Back for this film are one of the best acting companies you’ll find–regular players Kathy Baker, Kohl Sudduth, Stephen McHattie, William Devane, William Sadler, Gloria Reuben, and Saul Rubinek.
If you’re looking for a fast-paced thriller, this isn’t it. If you’re looking for top-notch writing, acting and character development, with a bonus travelogue of Halifax, Nova Scotia (where Syfy’s Haven also films), get comfortable. They really don’t make many TV movies like this anymore. I love that Tom Selleck made continuing this series a caveat of his role on Blue Bloods.
And while we’re very happy the films have a regular May home on CBS (after they sat on one of the films for a year), we’re disappointed that the network hasn’t updated its website for the new film to let people know it’s on this weekend. Thankfully our friends at IMdB have a few clips to tease us. Â Jesse Stone: Benefit of the Doubt airs Sunday night at 9 pm/8 c on CBS.
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