New show: The Mysteries of Laura
When: 8 p.m. Wednesdays on NBC (special preview this Wednesday at 10 p.m.)
Cast: Debra Messing, Josh Lucas, Laz Alonso
Premise: Messing (“Will & Grace,” “Smash”) plays Laura Diamond, a police detective and mother of hellion twin sons – kids we can only hope will become “heard about and not seen” after the painful pilot. The show is all over the place: it’s about a talented detective working a high pressure job solving murders; at the same time, her cheating husband (Lucas) won’t sign the divorce papers and won’t stop nagging her to reconcile; finally, it’s about how she somehow doesn’t lose her mind dealing with her horrible kids. And I don’t think I’m exaggerating about how bad these children are. A full third of the episode is devoted to how they gleefully cause pain and destruction everywhere they go, from their home to the police station to their school – behavior that as far as I can tell, is allowed to go completely unchecked (except for a lot of complaining). Not only is their borderline sociopathic behavior unchecked, the infuriating drop-in dad seems to delight in stoking it and making it worse. Whatever this show might have had going for it (and I don’t recall a single laugh), the kids ruin it for me. I can’t recommend it – except maybe as birth control.