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David T. Cole

Detective Jo Martinez

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I like the actress, she's a nice mixture of tough and pretty. Kind of gives Kate Beckett vibes.

 

It's almost certain at this point that she'll become the love interest of the un-dead coroner - but strangely I don't mind. She's a widow, he cannot die - this may work! (joking aside, I like tha fact that she's a woman of color. Really)

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I think Martinez may be my favorite TV police detective currently on television and within at least the past few TV seasons.  She seems to fit in a "Goldilocks zone" of characterizations:

 

She's...

  • Realistically old enough to be a homicide detective in a major city's police department (AdlG was 38 when the series premiered)
  • Not too quirky (cf. early Bishop or Abby on NCIS, or Beale on NCIS:LA)
  • Not holier than thou (cf. "Saint Olivia" on Law & Order: SVU)
  • Not burdened by a heavy back story (e.g., no murdered parents or siblings, nor a rape or abuse victim)
  • No constant family drama dragging her character down (cf. Castle, with his mother and daughter, on Castle; or the Rizzoli family on Rizzoli & Isles)
  • Seems to come from a normal-ish background (e.g., not overly privileged)
  • Not a damsel
  • Neither incompetent nor unrealistically hyper-competent*
  • Not overtly presented as an object of the male gaze**

 

*I haven't followed the episodes that closely, but it seems that Henry is the one who has essentially solved all the cases, which given his Sherlock-like characterization, is almost to be expected.  But, it would be nice to see Jo break some cases (e.g., using some odd knowledge, which would help develop her back story), and even let Hanson and Lucas have a day in the limelight once in a while.

 

**Jo's looks were discussed in an early episode (see the series' TV Tropes entry), but otherwise, her physical appearance does not seem to be overly emphasized.  To expand, Alana de la Garza is an attractive woman (and even a former local teen beauty pageant "Miss Photogenic" winner), but I don't remember any "she cleans up nicely" scenes or "look at her in that dress" camera shots.  Nor, has there been any "have the female detective dress up in something sexy and go undercover" episodes (yet). Also, the character's wardrobe tends to be both (1) masculine, with mostly dark colors, and (2) not overtly fashion-conscious (cf. Beckett's wardrobe on Castle).

 

 

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