“Ally McBeal”, “Boston Justice”, “Chicago Hope”, “The Practice” and the recent “Big little lies” and “Nine Perfect Strangers”… behind all these nuggets of the small screen is David E. Kelley, husband of Michelle Pfeiffer in town, and one of the most talented and prolific creator and producer of the last twenty years.
This November 10, the American streaming service Peacock launched its latest “baby”, ” The Calling “, a decidedly different detective series, several episodes of which were directed by Barry Levinson, the man of “Rainman” among others. This is the adaptation of the novel “The Missing File” (“The missing file”) by Dror Mishani, which is set in Tel Aviv. And it has as its central character one of the most singular detective of the New York police, Avraham Avraham, known as Avi (Jeff Wilbusch), a calm, compassionate and spiritual man, who brings his Jewish faith into his work as an investigator. . He begins each of his days praying on the roof of his home near the Williamsburg Bridge in Brooklyn. And at the start of the first episode, he kneels next to a dead man in the street and whispers holy words to him in Hebrew.
Without giving too much away, it seems that he is able to capture the thoughts of the victims of the cases he handles, whether they are still alive or not. Eyes often hidden under sunglasses, he works in tandem with Janine Harris (Juliana Canfield), who is inevitably intrigued by the way he operates and interrogates the suspects… And God knows if there are a few in the dark affair – to which are added bomb threats -, which “runs” throughout the eight episodes of the first season.
This case is about the mysterious disappearance of a teenager, Vincent, on whose bed Avi will sit in the hope of feeling, emotionally and spiritually, what may have happened… And while he and Janine question Nora (Stephanie Szostaket) and Leonard (Steven Pasquale) the parents of the young man, they are also pushed to go see a couple of the latter, Zach and Diana Miller, who are going through a crisis. To the point that the latter sought comfort from… Vincent…
We are only there at the beginning of an investigation which will ramify and darken, as if it were not already dark enough. In all honesty: it takes patience to “stay” in the early, slow and lackluster episodes. David E. Kelley wanted them as such, certainly, and obliges us to follow the rhythm of his narration, which increases in power and gains in depth in the second part of the season. We also learn things about Avi’s past, whose father was murdered when he was five years old. But still, it keeps its vibe, while bringing in new characters and new crimes.
We had warned: “The Calling” is a particular and demanding detective series. But she also has “normal” sides since Avi, like any cop on this planet, works in a position and has a boss, in this case Captain Kathleen Davies, played by the Canadian Karen Robinson, already seen in “Welcome at Schitt’s Creek”. And then there is also his bon vivant colleague, Earl Malzone (Michael Mosley), also a detective.
If you like thrillers and investigations in the form of Russian dolls, if you are not refractory to spirituality and you have a few hours in front of you, “The Calling” should hook you!