Thursday, October 3, 2013

Pilot Review: Betrayal

Betrayal (ABC)
Premiered September 29 at 10pm

When I watched the trailers released by the networks for their fall offerings back in May, this show seemed to me to be the least about anything in particular. It looked like it could have been sort of like “Revenge” or “Red Widow,” two recent ABC shows, but the main character’s loved ones weren’t killed by anyone, instead very much alive. I noticed early on in this show that the betrayal being portrayed was two-fold, first in business while the personal affair was just beginning. Problematically, I found the initial outdoor conversation between Sara and Jack extremely inauthentic, and therefore the whole basis for the affair is less than credible. Sara’s convenient occupation as a photographer feels all too forced, and she’s far from secretive about her intentions and side life. There’s a lot of passion between the two leads, but it’s not terribly romantic. Heading the cast are two actors familiar to the television world. Hannah Ware gets promoted to a main role after playing Kelsey Grammer’s drug-addicted daughter on “Boss” for two seasons, and giving her the opportunity to anchor a show doesn’t pay off too well here since she doesn’t bring much charisma to the table. Stuart Townsend, who led the one-season remake of “Night Stalker” back in 2005, has some appeal but isn’t fantastic either. James Cromwell has the token scenery-chewing role, but he’s had better parts in the past. This show doesn’t have any clear direction, and this pilot is about as dull and far from involving as it gets.

How will it work as a series? I have no idea. Their affair has already begun, while Jack and Thacher are getting deep into the business of covering up the death in their work web. Neither is particularly interesting, and I imagine that focusing on both will be far from satisfying.
How long will it last? Sundays at 10pm is a great time slot, and that just ups the ante for this show to do well. Its pilot ratings were extremely poor, even less than other shows like “666 Park Avenue” which lasted only a short time in this same slot. I think this will be one of ABC’s first shows to go, likely not making it past November.

Pilot grade: F

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