We’ve all seen crime shows about grumpy detectives who solve mysteries because they’re really good at it and not because they have any interest in helping people (your Sherlocks, your Backstroms, etc.), but legendary producer David E. Kelley—fresh off of Big Little Lies and Nine Perfect Strangers—has hit on a brand new concept in the crime genre: a detective who cares about people.
That’s part of the premise for The Missing, a new show written and showrun by Kelley that has just gotten a straight-to-series order from Peacock. The show is based on Dror A. Mishani’s novel The Missing File and focuses on NYPD detective Avraham Avraham, a guy “whose belief in mankind is his superpower when it comes to uncovering the truth.” He’s also “guided by a deep sense of spirituality and religious principles” that are shaken when a “seemingly routine investigation turns upside down.”
So he solves mysteries, but he’s not good at it because he’s a jerk. He’s good at it because he is… religious and has faith in mankind. A little hard to picture in a world where so many cops are bad and where so many TV cops are just assholes, but Kelley certainly knows how to make a hit—or at least a hit that is briefly good and then eventually becomes less good, if we’re looking at his more recent work.
The Missing has been picked up for eight hourlong episodes, but since this first batch is only based on the first of the four Avraham books written by Mishani, it should be easy for Peacock to keep things going if it all works out. Then, who knows, maybe we’ll enter a wild new era of television where detectives solve crimes with spiritual depth instead of of tortured disinterest. (As if that’s not what Twin Peaks was about.)