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TV Review: ABC's 'Motive'

ABC premieres new Canadian police procedural Motive on Monday at 10 p.m. The following are reviews from TV critics around the Web, compiled by B&C.

“The characters don’t feel any richer here than they do on CBS’ various cop shows, and the series doesn’t even commit to how much it wants to keep you guessing about why the crime occurred.”

Alan Sepinwall, HitFix

“The problem with the upside-down conceit, and there are so many that it’s difficult to choose one, is that anyone who’s ever watched television can figure out the why a few minutes after meeting the key players.”

Mary McNamara, The Los Angeles Times

“The real problem in the early episodes is that the psychological payoffs that are supposed to make the stories distinctive - the revelations, after various red herrings, of what drove the killers - feel as perfunctory as the detective work.”

Mike Hale, The New York Times

“While acceptable as summer filler, it’s the sort of show where financial advantages built into the license fee clearly outweigh the creative merits. That might create a scheduling incentive for ABC, but for viewers, the show doesn’t provide much of a, well, you know.”

Brian Lowry, Variety

“But no matter where it’s set, the best thing about “Motive” is Lehman. She’s believable as a smart city cop the way Maria Bello was in the short-lived American version of “Prime Suspect” on NBC. She’s pretty much the one reason you may stick with an entire episode of “Motive” in spite of knowing the killer’s identity.”

David Wiegand, San Francisco Chronicle