Back for a four-episode run of self-conscious eccentricity, Saving Grace chronicles the boorish, profane behavior of Holly Hunter’s Oklahoma City cop Grace. She boozes and screws promiscuously while solving crimes. She throws her mangy blond hair around a lot to signal that she’s a tough free spirit, but is also a loving aunt to her dead sister’s son. Speaking of spirits, she’s visited regularly by a guardian angel, Earl (Leon Rippy, who has the gravelly voice and demeanor of a ’60s country-music singer). Grace isn’t a character, she’s a TV-math equation: NYPD Blue‘s Sipowicz + The Closer‘s Brenda ÷ Touched by an Angel = tiresome rebel hero.
Nothing in these new episodes suggests that the formula has been varied in the least. This week, Grace tracks the varmints behind a school-bus crash while facing down a tornado. (Suspect in tow during the storm, she howls to the heavens: ”You can’t have her, she’s mine, you sonuvabitch!”) She also lies down on a bar counter and guzzles from a beer bong. Whatta card. Hunter works two expressions: dour cynicism and wry smiley-ness.
Next week, she searches for the person responsible for the death of a ”mentally challenged” young man. At one point, angel Earl turns to Grace’s dog and says, ”This is gonna get interestin’, Gus.” Well, not unless Gus turns out to be the reincarnation of Michael Landon and kicks your butt, angel-man…C