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TV Series Review

Dr. Dylan Reinhart—author, professor and former CIA operative—used to be a man of intrigue. But since retiring from the CIA, newlywed Reinhart is trying to put that behind him. He has built a “normal” life with his husband, Andy. They’re even trying to adopt a baby.

Lizzie Needham is a homicide detective who lost her partner (and fiancé) in the line of duty. Since then, she’s gained a reputation at the New York Police Department of being difficult to work with, having gone through three new partners over the course of the year.

Lizzie and Dylan are complete opposites. He’s dapper, she’s slovenly. He’s perky, she’s vapid. At first glance, there doesn’t seem to be any chance of these two working together, let alone becoming friends. But when a serial killer uses Dylan’s book as the motif for his murders, Lizzie enlists Reinhart’s help to profile the culprit. Using their instincts, this unlikely pair will have to work together to track down the killer before he can strike again.

“I’m Not Like the Rest of You”

Having an openly gay character on a network television show is nothing new.Such shows as Modern Family and Will & Grace both went down that path well before. That being said, Dylan Reinhart is the first openly gay lead in a U.S. network drama—and he’s played by an openly gay actor, Alan Cumming. But for Cumming, it’s not so much about playing a queer character but rather telling a story about a person who just so happens to be gay. “It’s about how you desensationalise someone’s sexuality,” he said in an interview with PEOPLE Now.

Despite Cumming’s justifications, the show still spends a good deal of time exploring some of the issues that are unique to same-sex couples, i.e. adoption. In one episode, a social worker questions Dylan and his spouse about how they will explain “traditional” families to their child, and Dylan is outraged, calling her biased. The show tries desperately to show that Dylan’s orientation doesn’t encompass his entire being; it’s just a small facet of who he is. But with such an obvious plotline determined by this facet, it isn’t something that can be ignored either.

Using Our Instincts

Even if we take the main character’s sexual orientation off the table, the show is still riddled with problems. Sex and excessive drinking are not uncommon, especially since Andy owns a bar. And then there’s the fact that Dylan and Lizzie solve homicide cases. The grisly murder scenes they investigate spare no details. And since Dylan specializes in serial killers, viewers are also treated to some disturbing insights into the twisted minds of these perpetrators.

While Lizzie and Dylan are ultimately trying to protect the people of New York from murderers, they also use unsanctioned methods and deceit to accomplish this goal. Perhaps this is a bit paradoxical since it causes problems for them both professionally and personally. But viewers would be best served by going with their gut on Instinct.

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Additional Comments/Notes

Episode Reviews

July 28, 2019: "Ancient History"
Instinct: Mar. 18, 2018 "Pilot"



Readability Age Range



Alan Cumming as Dr. Dylan Reinhart; Bojana Novakovic as Det. Lizzie Needham; Daniel Ings as Andy; Michael B. Silver as Sgt. Kanter Harris; Danny Mastrogiorgio as Det. Anthony Fucci; Sharon Leal as Lt. Jasmine Gooden; Naveen Andrews as Julian Cousins; Stephen Rider as Zack Clark; John Mainieri as Det. Jimmy Marino; Andrew Polk as Doug the Medical Examiner; Travis Van Winkle as Det. Ryan Stock; Alejandro Hernandez as Det. Rafael Sosa; Whoopi Goldberg as Joan Ross






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Year Published



Emily Baker

We hope this review was both interesting and useful. Please share it with family and friends who would benefit from it as well.

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