On a quick glance Saving Grace could be summed up as The Closer meets Touched by an Angel, but pulling back you quickly realize that the only Touched by an Angel reference it has is the actual winged deity played by Leon Rippy (Deadwood). Instead it tries to be Saving Grace but different. I hate using this analogy but it's like comparing CSI: Miami to CSI. I have to use this reference because of the infinite parallels that kept popping in my mind. Original hit cop show (CSI/Closer), the network (CBS/TNT) realizing that they'll inevitably be copycats so they figure they'll beat everyone to it (CSI: Miami/Saving Grace).

For the record, I don't dislike Saving Grace, I think it's pretty good and compelling. Personally, I love seeing Holly Hunter (The Piano) on screen, she brings a unique edge to all her roles, and this is no exception. Hunter stars as Grace Hanadarko, a tormented, fast-living, top of line, Oklahoma City Police detective who has mastered self-destruction. She drinks irresponsibly, sleeps with married men, and defies authority. It all catches up to her one night when, driving under the influence, she drives through a man walking along the road. In an uncharacteristic moment, Grace asks for help, and she gets it - in the form of an angel named Earl (the previously mentioned Leon Rippy). Earl tells Grace that she is in trouble and running out of chances, and wants to guide her back to the right path.

Saving Grace itself has a pretty solid recognizable cast. Besides Hunter and Rippy, there's also Kenneth Johnson (The Shield), Bailey Chase (Las Vegas), Bookem Woodbine (The Big Hit), and Laura San Giacomo (Just Shoot Me!). With such a great supporting cast I'm not sure if it's impressive that Hunter shines so brightly above them, or if it's disappointing that they aren't given more to do.

The Pilot starts off with a very jarring coital scene between Hunter and Johnson, which launches the characters into it's unique tone and setting. The procedural aspects of the show aren't by any means mind blowing or shocking. I think the show knows itself well enough to gravitate towards what works for it, and that is the inner struggles of Hunter's Det. Grace, her ongoing and odd partnership with the angel, and a very amusing "procedural" element to "is the Angel real?".

So do I recommend Saving Grace? ... I'll put in this way - if you're a fan of The Closer then check it out. Saving Grace isn't for everyone, but I know there are people out there who will love it.