In Plain Sight (TV Series 2008–2012) Poster


User Reviews

Review this title
37 Reviews
Sort by:
Filter by Rating:
Love it!
FABabe29 June 2008
With the addition of In Plain Sight, it's official...the summer cable shows like The Closer, Saving Grace, Burn Notice and Damages are so much better than anything the major networks have to offer during the "regular" season. Love the chemistry between Mary and Marshall. Love the quick quips and the realistic dialog. And the addition of a fine looking black detective with the unlikely name of Dershowitz for Mary to butt heads and crack wise with is pure gold.

I do agree that the mother and sister are best in small doses, but they do provide a nice slightly off-balance counterpoint to the thoroughly professional handle Mary has on her work life. One line describes the relationship beautifully: in replying to her n'er-do-well sister's question about why Mary won't just get rid of her defective car, she says "because, like my family, I love it a little more than I want to kill it." The people she's protecting have been getting better and better with each successive show. The most recent, David Foley, was a real hoot as an assassin's middleman.

All in all, I don't care if it's not exactly as law enforcement would do it. I'm not looking for authenticity in a summer show. I'm looking for fun, and In Plain Sight has it in spades.
54 out of 60 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
"No one who has followed the rules has ever been harmed."
Vic_max5 June 2008
I'm not really a fan of TV crime shows, but new series always give me the chance of experiencing some fresh air - so I check them out. In this case, I was glad I did. The pilot started off slow, but after about 30 minutes (it was 90 minutes total w/commercials), it actually became interesting and stayed that way to the end. Subsequent episodes have kept up the momentum.

One novel aspect of the show is that its about a lady marshal in Albuquerque, New Mexico. She's in charge of people in the "witness protection program" who have been assigned to her area. She cautions and reassures them that since 1970 (when the witness program started), "No one who has followed the rules has ever been harmed." Powerful words.

Can they comply? When things go wrong, can she protect them? How can she keep their identities safe - even from the local police?

Aside from the setup, the show is ultimately interesting because she's fun to watch. She's sassy, witty, playful, smart, responsible ... and physically tough. I recommend watching an episode; if the lead character grabs your interest, then you're likely to enjoy the show.
48 out of 53 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
One of the must-see's!
tacticalguy6 July 2008
This is one of those shows that if given enough time will develop a loyal following. I have watched 5 episodes so far. I talked my girlfriend into sitting down for the pilot and she was hooked. Mary McCormack does an excellent job of showing a flawed character struggling with a dysfunctional family and the evils of her job(protecting and hiding criminals in Witness Protection). Fred Weller is excellent as her laconic partner. Paul Ben-Victor is dead on as the not-quite-aware section chief of the U.S. Marshall's Service. The shows are well-crafted and allow Ms. McCormack ample opportunity to zing her co-stars with great one-liners. The developing back-stories on her family show great promise. Lesley Anne Warren is an over the top version of the mother no one wants to claim as their own. She's a hard-drinking "good-time" girl who likes men, a LOT. Nichole Hiltz is her sexy, ditzy sister who is attracted to trouble. The cast is a lot of fun to watch and I am going to be rooting for them to be renewed for a second season.
24 out of 26 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Mary Shannon is my hero
wquering6 June 2011
After I lifetime in law enforcement, I don't like cop shows. The vast majority of them take themselves waaaay too seriously, and Hollywood displays very little understanding of how cops and police departments work. Oh, they have their technical advisors who show them how cops do tactical stuff, and they do manage to get that stuff mostly right, but it's the day to day stuff that they screw up. For example, how many times have shows depicted a detective leaving some major department and going to another city and immediately becoming a detective? Sorry folks, it just doesn't work that way. I don't care if you have a gold shield in the Big Apple, it you move to another state, you're going to go through the entire testing process all over again, go through another academy, and start out as a junior patrol cop working a beat.

So I don't like cop shows. Except.....

Mary Shannon has to be the most irascible, sarcastic, cynical, wry, blunt pretend LEO to ever pin on a TV badge. I love every minute she and Marshall are on the screen. Whoever writes for the show, especially the dialogue, is a genius. Practically every other line Mary utters is something that I wish I had thought of. At the same time, I identify with both her partner Marshall, and her supervisor Stan. Mary is the sort of partner and subordinate that you love to work with while simultaneously dreading whatever they're going to do next.

The show is hardly a model of realism, but I've given up on Hollywood ever getting that right. I watch the show because I want to see Mary cause Stan to pull out the rest of his hair, to hear her lay into some pompous FBI agent, to tell some protectee or family member just what an idiot they are, or to cause Marshall to go off on some existential tangent. You go girl!!
17 out of 20 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
great humor, great characters
gdvibe19 June 2008
My wife and I thoroughly enjoyed this show. Our comment was that it looks like Hollywood people actually can write. We prefer character driven shows and the characters are great. There is whimsy and great interplay.

The plot was complex but only because more than one story overlapped and the pilot should probably have been 2 hours instead of 90 minutes to help develop some of the themes and the characters, but there was no problem in following what was happening.

I hope the relationship between Mary and Raphael develops. She obviously wants more but sees herself as either not capable of such a relationship or because her job won't let her have a solid relationship.

But will she develop a relationship with detective Dershowitz? That would be interesting.

We look forward to the next episode.
33 out of 45 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
I love this show
PaulaMary4 June 2011
This is a great show, despite being predictable now and again. I love the characters and I love the soundtrack. Both Mary and Marshall are complicated and interesting people. Mary's family is as crazy as any family can be, but as the saying goes, every crazy family is crazy in it's own way. I wish we knew more about Marshall's life because he's easily one of the most interesting men on television, despite having no personal life whatsoever. He's well read and wry and very patient and insightful. Only drawback: I miss Robert Dershowitz!

My husband and I blew a rainy Saturday watching one episode after the next on Netflix. As rainy Saturdays go, it was a good one.
5 out of 5 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Mary McCormack amazing
SnoopyStyle28 August 2013
Mary Shannon (Mary McCormack) is a U.S. Marshal who spends her time relocating and working with federal witnesses in the witness protection program. Based in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Mary works with her partner Marshall Mann (Frederick Weller). She is a tough fast-talking agent who won't back down, but her family life is a mess. Her father is a criminal. Her overly dependent mother Jinx (Lesley Ann Warren), and younger sister Brandi (Nichole Hiltz) are even more of a mess.

Mary McCormack is amazing and has great platonic chemistry with Frederick Weller. It's a simple, fun cop procedural and everything works. The dysfunctional family and love life are all great.
6 out of 7 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Fresh Comedy with a Sensitive Subject
amber105362 June 2008
Although it's hard to decide the future of this show based on its pilot, I would assume that this show will do well on USA. While it's not quite as good as the advertisements led it to be, I enjoyed the first episode and the characters it developed. As others have mentioned, I hope that it does not end up focused around solving murders, but rather the families the Marshalls need to hide. Mary is a refreshingly sarcastic woman with great one-liners and an over-all amusing personality. There is a great juggle between local crimes, witness protection, and personal affairs. Hopefully the rest of the episodes will live up to the standards the pilot has set.
24 out of 38 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Smart, Funny, and Sexy!
yossarian1002 June 2008
This smart, funny, and sexy new show is basically SAVING GRACE starring Mary McCormack instead of Holly Hunter, and this show is all Mary McCormack. Everything else is formulaic, not necessarily a bad thing, but, if you watch a lot of TV, you'll pretty much go, "yeah, OK." Again, that's not a bad thing. You watch TV to be entertained. IN PLAIN SIGHT is definitely entertaining and Mary McCormack is perfect for this part. She makes it all work. Not only a woman with a strong personality, but a woman who competes with men in a man's world and kicks butt in the process. OK, her personal life sucks but, you already guessed that, didn't you? It's OK. Trust me. Mary McCormack makes it all work and makes it all worthwhile. After watching the first episode, I figure future episodes won't be hard to write because Mary is a to-die-for character for anyone who writes for TV. Witty. sarcastic, and dead pan. YUM!
29 out of 50 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Give it a chance...It keeps getting better!
nike065241 July 2008
Please don't be like the networks that cancel a show after a couple of episodes. I feel that In Plain Sight keeps getting better. Give it a chance! I'm no great fan of Psych or Burn Notice but I keep watching. Some episodes I like...Some episodes I don't like. And for all of you Monk fans out there...Did you pay attention to who wrote the theme song for In Plain Sight? Jeff Beal! Credit watchers unite! In fact I came to IMDb to find out who played Horst (David Foley) in one episode of In Plain Sight. It took until that episode for the show to hook me and it was the 4th episode, I think. I'm a big time fan of Monk and not all Monk episodes are great. In Plain Sight has potential so please don't write it off too soon.
18 out of 30 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Why not just call it "Drunk Bitter Mother" ... they ruined it (Kill off Jinx)
foundsomefun25 May 2009
This show is trying to be too many things all at once and it is failing miserably at being a show about crime and "witness protection". It is all about the drunk. Lesley Ann Warren plays the same sorry dippy ratty haired unlikable person that she plays in every other movie or show. Why is it when a show is really coming together they reduce the star players to after thoughts and bring in some has-been or in this case a never-been player and mess it up.

I was really liking this show. The team of Federal Marshalls was developing a chemistry and hitting its stride. If I want to watch a ratty haired annoying drunk with no purpose I would watch "Saving Grace"... and that is a 1 out of 10 at best.

Save this show PLEASE...!!! I really liked how the witnesses got into trouble and how things moved along. Kill off the mother.
7 out of 10 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
What's all the fuss about?
Angelus21 December 2009
Warning: Spoilers
The basic plot is that there is a team that tries to help victims find a new life through the 'witness protection program'.

It's been hailed as brilliantly witty and sexy..I sadly must have missed the witty and sexy parts while watching this dreary dull show...The two leads are very unconvincing as cops...I mean at one point I thought I could easily grab the gun off either one of em...The jokes and witty banter fail to entertain...While the whole personal life thing just adds to the boredom...

More importantly the show could have been more serious, by showing the lives of the people within the program, how they have to suddenly leave everything behind, in order to live...But this show is not like that...Should have perished after season 1, but it seems it has returned with its second
13 out of 24 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Mary makes the show
ctomvelu-13 June 2008
I have to catch up with the beginning of the first episode, but what I saw tells me USA has a winner on its hands with IN PLAIN SIGHT. The main character, a rather fetching but ball-busting federal marshal played by Mary McCormack, is a swipe of Karen Sisco from Elmore Leonard's OUT OF SIGHT, crossed with Jordan Cavanaugh of CROSSING JORDAN and even Adrian Monk of MONK, to name just a few influences. McCormack racks them and stacks them with the best of her male counterparts. Predictably, she has a troubled personal life and a ditzy mother, played winningly by Leslie Ann Warren, 62, but not looking a day over 50. In the opener, it's her birthday and she just knows Mom has planned a surprise party. She also has a murder to solve and some people to put into witness protection. By the end, all is well, of course. And so on to the next episode. McCormack, a TV and movie veteran, is the whole show. The majority of the supporting cast is made up of your basic generic TV actors, looking a little too young and too clean cut and too thin. Sounds like WITHOUT A TRACE, don't it? McCormack does a post-coital nude scene in the opener, clearly to keep the guys watching. My theory is that we will never see her naked again. But that's OK. She's just fun to watch.
13 out of 26 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Not a great Pilot
stuprince1 June 2008
After all the hype and promotion that USA was giving this show, In Plain Sight turned out to be an average show, something that just felt like NBC rejected and sent to its second tier network.

I have been a big fan of past USA show, especially Monk, Psych and Burn Notice, yet this show is disjointed and the plot was confusing. The show as supposed to be the story of federal marshals that hide people as part of the Federal Witness Protection Program, but quickly became a bad cop show with an attempt to solve a local murder of a young man who parents were in witness protection.

There is another story stranding through about Mary McCormick's character and her disjointed family life. Both stories were poorly put together and just typical cliché TV. Still, there is something to this show with an original idea and will, IMHO, develop into a decent show.

So, worth a look and it has lots of room to get better. USA, make it about witness protection people and not just another cop show and you will keep me watching.
25 out of 57 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
The best cop on the block
delhart200121 June 2008
Mary McCormack is the only believable actor/actress i have seen in a police drama series since Helen Mirren in the early Prime Suspect stories. She is not like your Without a Trace or Numbers cops, that seem to be posing for every shot, or putting folders over there bodies to cover up the fact that they are going to have a baby, Mary McCormack's character in "In Plain Sight" is the reason to watch this program, she really is amazing, as a in your face, don't give a damn, down to earth veteran US Marshall the stories are not bad, getting better in fact, some of the other cast are a bit hammy, , so what, over all its an entertaining show, with some great one liners, plenty of action and i can only hope that the networks realize that they have little gem of a series here and give it a fair chance, and not kill it off before it starts, so to speak.
8 out of 15 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Solid, good character draw
TunesByWax19 March 2012
Descent writing, reasonable acting, similar in timbre to Saving Grace, enough character development that you can connect. As a big West Wing fan, I really like the substantial number of guest spots by West Wing alum. Only ding: yet another show less than subtly infused with toyota plugs. Keep your money on shore & buy a dang Ford or something. Over all, it's a shame they're wrapping up. In the era of twitter, it seems odd to prohibit publication of a review for being succinct. So, right then, descent writing, reasonable acting, similar in timbre to Saving Grace, enough character development that you can connect. As a big West Wing fan, I really like the substantial number of guest spots by West Wing alum. Only ding: yet another show less than subtly infused with toyota plugs.
4 out of 6 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Really Terrible on all fronts
ipox16 June 2008
I watched all of the first episode and 10 minutes of the second before giving up. The characters are very contrived, weak story lines and the acting is very bad however I did like the scenery around Albuquerque.

Bits seemed to have been lifted from many successful or semi successful TV show and thrown together in the hope that the mix will spawn a winner not the mongrel that it is. The sponging mother, drugged out, useless sister, dysfunctional personal life and very unfunny one-liners made me cringe. It reminded me of a poor rehash of Burn Notice without the humor. Warring incompetent governmental agencies (FBI, Marshals, Police etc)have all been done to death.

The credibility of the first script was next to zero - a NY mafia hit-man relocated to ABQ stretched me but I went with it but the Witness Protection people still calling him by his old name - don't think so. The son keeping his old NY driving license - nope. The mother's noisy sex - eeww.

This will only keep on the air if there is nothing to replace it but I would bet money it will be axed by next season.
14 out of 31 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
The Characters Make the Show
smalltimephillip17 June 2011
I heard repeatedly from friends and family that this show was interesting. However, the description of "it's a show about two U.S. Marshalls that work in witness protection," doesn't really grasp my attention. Then I found the dvds at the library and figured I'd give it a shot. The series was already finished with its second season by the time I started watching it. So, my impression. The reason to watch this show is mostly due to its characters. I think the plot could be about detectives, security guards, or sheriffs, but with Mary and Marshall as the main characters (and partners), the show would still be awesome. The writing is usually really good, though the screwed-up dynamic of Mary's family becomes irritating sometimes. I would recommend this show to anyone looking to watch some entertaining stories about crazy U.S. Marshalls and Witness Protection.
2 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Can't wait for season 4
laurakay3015 July 2010
Warning: Spoilers
Love this show - Have just watched all 3 seasons back to back and love it - i'm now getting withdrawal symptoms waiting for Season 4 . I Love the interplay between Marshall and Mary, and how she copes with such a screwed up family life . I hope that this show runs and runs for many more seasons. To hear more Marshallisms and to see whether or not they eventually get it together as its so obviously Marshall is in love with Mary. Think they should bring back Eleanor thou it was so funny watching her and Mary Bitch at each other.

The Guest actors they have had so far are of high calibre with the likes of Alison Janney & Joshua Malina. Roll on Season 4
2 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Welcome to the world of In Plain Slight
Terryfan25 March 2015
In Plain Slight is a crime show where you see what the lives of U.S. Marshall Officers and their jobs to put people in Witness Protection.

The series main protagonist Mary Shannon (Played by Mary McCormack) is a no nonsense wise cracking US Marshall with a interesting view on the world as she is forced to deal with her mother Jinx Shannon (Played by Lesley Ann Warren) and her sister Brandi Shannon (Played by Nicole Hiltz).

Things at work are just as interesting for Mary as well with her partner Marshall Mann (Played by Frederick Weller) as they work together to keep their witness protected within their program along with their boss Stan McQueen (Played by Paul Ben-Victor).

The series protagonists make the show a fun and interesting series to watch because Mary and Marshall have a strong partnership and are best friends.

The acting is very good with Mary and Fredrick work very well together and make their characters very strong.

The writing is very creative as you get a mix of drama, comedy and action in the show. Which is level out very well.

So you are interested in Crime drama with good characters and story telling IN Plain Slight is the show for you .
1 out of 1 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
I have been a semi fan of police series, both UK and USA especially if they prove to not be run of the mill (Suits being another) and this is very much in that category. However, since I've been watching this the idea of dealing with the family life of the main characters seems to have caught on, but there's still the main characters' (Mary) general attitude to keep me watching, sadly we watched the last episode last night, series 2 or 3 which sadly was quite disappointing in that this woman who never 'holidayed' went on holiday with some FBI agent that had come into the series just 2 episodes back. Also, Marshal, her colleague, had more or less told her that 'he was the one for her but she failed to catch on. Shame, still, that's fictional characters for you.
1 out of 1 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Cracking series
I had not seen this on TV so took a chance on the DVDs and how impressed I have been. An absolute treat.

There is a strong sub-plot to supplement the main one in each episode, with Mary's work and home life issues in constant conflict and turmoil, a scenario which is handled well be the writers. Mary McCormack, who I saw first in the West Wing, plays her part beautifully and the show is enhanced by excellent scripts with some wonderful one liners (particularly in the later episodes when the team have admin support from the feisty Eleanor Prince). Granted that at times the language may be a little "choice" but accept that and enjoy the story, the characters and the whole covert world of witness protection.
1 out of 1 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
unbelievable plot, poor acting, very poor Law Enforcement procedures.
john-carstarphen23 June 2008
I spent 21 years as a sworn law enforcement officer working in the patrol, training, and evidence divisions. Before retiring I was admitted to give opinion evidence in the field of finger and palm print identification, development and preservation of latent evidence in that field in both the District Courts of the State of Texas and before Fifth Judicial Circuit of the Federal Court System. Further I also retired from the military as a senior Noncommissioned Officer E-7.

I have generally enjoyed the majority of your Law and Order series, with few exceptions. Having had the opportunity on several occasions to work with Deputies of the US Marshals Service, I looked forward to the inauguration of your new series. Having seen the first three offerings I am severely disappointed.

I have no doubt that by now disgusted Deputy Marshals around the country cringe in horror when ever your show is mentioned. The plots are contrived and unbelievable, unlike the greater majority of the Law and Order series.

Especially your last offering. Unbelievable. Two allegedly experienced and firearms qualified Deputy Marshalls fired, (assuming 13 rd 9mm magazines) a minimum of 91 rounds in the general direction of bad guys standing in the open – she fired two magazines (26 rds) from the inside of the vehicle; he fired from the rear of the car after getting back up, assuming at the apparent rate of fire at least one 13 rd magazine. They both fired two full magazines (total of 52 rds.), standing in front of the car as the baddies were fleeing to their car while also returning fire.

One baddie and one Marshall took a hit. The baddie what looked like a minor if painful through and through in the upper muscle of the right arm, and the marshal a serious sucking chest wound in the right chest.

During the inevitable after action review normal in any agency following a shooting incident, they both would have been called to account for their lousy shooting if for nothing else in the entire procedural comedy of errors.

I have over the years qualified on a regular basis first with the .38 and .357 revolver, later with the .45 government model, and later with the 9mm Glock and Berretta Model 9 and FS 92. As a civilian police officer we were required to qualify every 6 months, and in the military annually and before deployments. I have to wonder if either of these "Deputies" have ever fired anything other than subsonic blanks in prop firearms.

I won't even start on the quality of either the acting or the character development of the principles.
12 out of 36 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
this show needs to be shot and taken out of its misery
GodBlessthUSA25 June 2008
A pathetic attempt to recreate Psych, In Plain Sight is an epic failure. The writing is not only tacky and stale it is at some times needlessly offensive. For example in the pilot in the main characters' first exchange the writers had them talking about what is 'retarded' and what is not. I know some people roll their eyes when they hear someone talk about how the use of that word is offensive but it is. It is the exact same thing as using the N word. And just a random other problem I have: why is it that in pretty much every scene in the witness protection agency office the only people there are Mary Marshall and their boss? Why can't they hire extras?

Then there is the character development or I guess I should say the LACK of character development. Not one of those characters could even begin to pass as people in the real world. Maybe they're in there somewhere in the writing but the acting is awful. Could Mary's sidekick partner be any more bland? And the mother and sister? Leslie Ann Warren was funny in the occasional guest appearance now and then on sitcoms like Will and Grace but I do not under any circumstances want to watch a plot line revolving completely around her. Then Mary herself is just your basic tough female cop. I can't even think of any more words to describe it its so boring and conventional. Also, when she talks it sounds like she has a mouth full of spit or a retainer or something. Its a source of great annoyance to me, if shes going to be the main character on a TV show she should at least know how to use her voice. I do not care about a single one of these characters. I don't care if they live or die. I don't care if they find love or end up alone. I don't care if they take drugs or drink themselves into oblivion and that is a HUGE problem. If I do not care about the characters then why should I watch it?

I keep watching it hoping it will get better like Burn Notice did but to my amazement it just keeps getting worse and worse. do not I repeat DO NOT watch this show. Its an hour of your life you will never get back.
10 out of 29 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
She deserves better
frankfob3 June 2008
I've been a fan of Mary McCormack since I first saw her, when she played Howard Stern's wife in "Private Parts", and she had a terrific run in "The West Wing", playing a character not all that different from the one she plays here. As another poster has said, she makes the whole show work (as far as it does). She's smart, funny, sexy, has a great way with a line and is much more in control of her professional life than the train wreck that's her personal life. The premise of the show itself is interesting, but the main problem with the only episode I've seen so far--the pilot--is, as has been noted, that the story was weak and somewhat convoluted and, overall, tended to sink down into typical cop-show cliché. It doesn't seem to quite know if it wants to be a cop show with comedy or a comedy with cops, and that's something they need to figure out before the show goes much further. Also, IMO, she needs to get a new partner. The guy she has now seems to be more like an Abbott to her Costello except more glib and smarmy. Either he should tone down the cheap "seen-it-all" cynicism and wiseass attitude or they should just get someone else. His character really doesn't work. And I'm sorry, but Lesley Ann Warren just doesn't work as Mary's mother, either. She's too much of a caricature--not to mention yet another TV sitcom cliché, the ditzy yet sexy middle-aged mom--to be believable.

Mary McCormack is pretty much the only reason to watch it right now. With some tweaking--mainly in the writing and casting--it could be a really good show, on a level with USA's superb "Burn Notice". But it will need a fair amount of work, and Mary McCormack deserves better than what they've done with it so far.
10 out of 29 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
An error has occured. Please try again.

See also

Awards | FAQ | User Ratings | External Reviews | Metacritic Reviews

Recently Viewed