Jennifer Lopez's Harlee Santos is recording a confession, looking rather worse for the wear.
Her eyes are crazed, her cheekbone bruised, her hair lank and lifeless.
Harlee Santos is part of a thoroughly dirty but somewhat morally justifiable squad of Brooklyn detectives led by secret-harboring lieutenant Matt Wozniak (Ray Liotta).
Yes, they take bribes, plant evidence and condone a threshold of criminal behavior, but they keep drugs away from schools and they're like a big family, so it's OK.
"I always told myself that the end would justify the means.And Liotta devours scenery with an abandon that screams, "If you'd just given me an Oscar nod for , I probably wouldn't have to do this!" Few actors go psycho with Liotta's commitment, and he seems liberated by a slow-burn episodic format that allows him to go bug-eyed and spittle-spewing in one scene and then share a quiet, affecting scene with Lopez or co-star Lolita Davidovich.But now that I'm at the end, I can't justify anything," Santos says in her series-opening confession.As a vehicle to stretch her acting muscles, Lopez has no need to justify this foray onto the small screen, though all but her biggest fans may struggle to make it to the end to see how things got so disheveled.
Some credit for the not-terrible early episodes goes to director Barry Levinson, who contributes a solid sense of pace and place, while guiding the two central performances from Lopez and Liotta.