If you aimlessly walk around Toronto, I am sure you have probably seen a Motive poster, billboard, or bus advertisement over the last few weeks. It’s a similar story if you have watched anything on CTV in the last month, where it seems like every commercial break includes a spot for the new one-hour drama series. It’s clear that the network has a lot of faith in the crime procedural that stars Kristin Lehman (The Killing) as Detective Angie Flynn and Lauren Holly (NCIS, Dumb & Dumber) as they go on a backwards chase for clues to a killer that has already been revealed at the top of every episode, as the series debuts tonight immediately after the Super Bowl. Traditionally, networks that have secured the rights to broadcast the biggest television event of the year, air either their top-drawing show or a new series that they have the most faith in after the big game and the latter is clearly the case for CTV and Motive.
There is definitely a reason behind the blind faith.
While Motive is a crime procedural, it’s not in the traditional sense that audiences have become accustomed to. In fact, it is not so much a whodunit, as much as it is a ‘whydunit.’ The novel storytelling technique of revealing the killer at the beginning is what the show lives and dies by (pun intended). While we usually enjoy trying to figure out who the killer is while watching shows like this, a more alluring proposition is deciphering why the killer chose to murder his victim. It’s a technique that Criminal Minds has successfully employed for many years.
On February 1, I had the chance to catch up with Motive stars Kristin Lehman and Lauren Holly at 299 Queen St. W, and in a poignant chat, we explored many of the questions surrounding the show. I asked them what the appeal of the script was, if the idea of revealing the killer right away will work with today’s audiences, and if the fact that these roles are so different from their usual body of work is what compelled them to sign on.
Check it out!
Motive premieres tonight on CTV immediately after the Super Bowl before moving into its regular timeslot, Sundays at 9 p.m.
Murtz Jaffer is the world’s foremost reality television expert and was the host of Reality Obsessed which aired on the TVTropolis and Global Reality Channels in Canada. He has professional writing experience at the Toronto Sun, National Post, TV Guide Canada, TOROMagazine.com and was a former producer at Entertainment Tonight Canada. He was also the editor at Weekendtrips.com.