In 2006, novelist Karin Slaughter released a book titled “Triptych” that featured Georgia Bureau of Investigation special agent Will Trent. Slaughter has since written 11 more books in the Will Trent series, and will release another in August of this year.
The success of the novels eventually led to ABC ordering a pilot TV episode based on the books in February 2022. The network seemed to have liked what it saw and ordered a full slate of episodes for the 2022-23 season. The show premiered on Jan. 3, 2023 as a midseason series.
Ramon Rodriguez of “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen” plays the titular character and Erika Christensen of “Parenthood” portrays his girlfriend, Angie Polaski.
Critics of the show claim the TV version of the Trent story doesn’t compare to the books—which often happens with book-to-screen adaptations. I’ve never read the books, so this review will strictly be about the TV show.
In a nutshell, I’d describe “Will Trent” as a more-dramatic version of “Monk,” minus the neurotic behavior of the main character. Trent is odd, just not as odd as Adrian Monk. The comparison between the show’s protagonists doesn’t stop there. Trent, like Monk, is a genius at solving crimes, albeit using different approaches.
For a yet-to-be-revealed reason, Trent is an outcast in the Atlanta law enforcement community, mainly by members of the Atlanta Police Department. There’s brief mention of the disdain being rooted in something Trent did (or didn’t) do prior to the show’s premiere episode.
Raised in the foster care system, Trent comes with a lot of baggage, which includes abandonment and trust issues. His girlfriend Angie also experienced the foster care system, which is where the two met as teens. Theirs is a complicated relationship, which includes frequent on-again-off-again periods. Rodriguez and Christensen have good chemistry, which makes their on-screen relationship believable.
In the pilot episode, Trent is reluctantly partnered with Faith Mitchell (Iantha Richardson), a member of the APD, on a special case. The two work well together and wind up becoming partners under the umbrella of the GBI. Faith brings balance to Trent’s quirky approach to life and crime sleuthing.
One of the more endearing elements of the show is Trent’s relationship with Betty, a chihuahua he’s kind of forced into adopting early in the series. Betty grows on Trent and soon the two form a touching relationship. In case you’re wondering, Bluebell, also a chihuahua, plays Betty.
“Will Trent” is well-written and entertaining, which doesn’t necessarily guarantee a second season. It’s all about ratings and revenue. That said, the show premiered to an audience of 3.6 million viewers and has steadily declined to about 2.5 million. As of this writing, ABC has yet to render a decision on the fate of the show.
You can catch episodes of the show on ABC on Tuesdays at 9 p.m. in Utah or on Hulu the following day.