From Brian Lowry of Variety:
TV Review: Motive
Crime procedurals exist in such abundance that the challenge has become how to dribble new dabs of paint around a chalk outline. “Motive” — another Canadian import receiving a summer showcase on ABC — seeks to brighten up the formula, unsuccessfully, by shifting the focus from “who”-dunit to “why.” It’s an exceedingly mild tweak, with Kristin Lehman (most recently off “The Killing”) as the hard-bitten detective providing the only real incentive to tune in. While the network has found a steady utility player in “Rookie Blue,” getting lucky twice would merit a trip to Vegas, not Vancouver. Read more.
From Curt Wagner of the Chicago Tribune:
Little mystery to ‘Motive’
But for viewers, unraveling the why is neither as fun nor as interesting as discovering the who. Look at it this way: Would “Dallas” or “Twin Peaks” have branded themselves into the pop cultural landscape with teaser lines like “Why did someone shoot J.R.?” or “Why was Laura Palmer killed?” I don’t think so. Read more.
From David Weigand of the Kansas City Star:
There’s little mystery in new ABC series ‘Motive’
ABC calls its new Canadian import “Motive” because that’s what the mystery is. Each episode starts by identifying the killer and the victim, so instead of being a whodunit, “Motive” is a “whydunit,” which, except for the appeal of the show’s star, amounts to a “whocares.” Read more.
From Liz Raftery of TV Guide:
Motive: Will Canada’s No. 1 New Show Connect with U.S. Audiences?
On ABC’s new police procedural Motive, the question at the start of each episode is not who committed a crime, but why. But the looming question on the minds of the show’s cast and crew is whether the Canadian show, which was the highest-rated series premiere in Canada last season, can find equal success in the States. Read more.
From Michael Korb of Zap2It:
Not whodunit, but why they done it
You’ve got to love it when people are willing to mix it up a little. Let’s face it; the traditional cop show has felt tired for years. Most are so formulaic that the crimes almost solve themselves. But with “Motive,” a new series premiering Monday on ABC, the formula has been set on its ear. Read more.
From David Hiltbrand of the Philadelphia Inquirer:
Two leftover series show promise
Motive (10:01 p.m., 6ABC) is a police procedural that identifies the killer and the victim right at the top of the show. Then it uses flashbacks and multiple vantages to show how the crime took place and how the case gets solved. Its nonlinear, whydunit approach makes the show stand out. The fractured loop-de-loop narrative creates not just surprise but suspense. Read more.
From Jeff Korbelik of the Journal Star:
Will formula twist be ‘Motive’ for you to watch?
From executive producer Daniel Cerone (“Dexter,” “The Mentalist”), the drama is a twist on the crime procedural focusing not on who did the crime, but why the crime was committed in the first place. That may spoil it for some viewers. At least it did for me. Read more.