Saturday, March 8, 2014

Pilot Review: Those Who Kill

Those Who Kill (A & E)
Premiered March 3 at 10pm

There’s nothing like a good serial killer drama. Unfortunately, they don’t come around all that often, and usually shows that attempt to pursue that kind of plot end up being unbearably dark and miserable. This show isn’t quite at that level, but it certainly doesn’t have the appeal that it should. Chloe Sevigny, an Oscar-nominated, Golden Globe-winning actress, returns in a role that makes her out to be a childhood abuse or kidnapping victim who now spends her days investigating grim crimes which involve violent serial killers. Sevigny has always been an acquired taste, and that’s definitely the case here. James D’Arcy, who was in the standalone pilot “Virtuality” and had an arc in season three of “Secret Diary of a Call Girl,” is trapped behind an American accent and a dull role as a forensic psychologist who starts working with Sevigny’s Catherine Jensen. James Morrison from “24” is here in a similarly command-oriented part that suits him, but the presence of Omid Abtahi is particularly lamentable since the Iranian-American actor has done such standout work in “Sleeper Cell,” “Homeland,” and other TV spots and here he’s trapped in a pointless and invisible part as a standard cop. This show’s first episode was certainly bleak, and its uninviting characters don’t do anything to make it more appealing. Its title certainly says a lot, and I wish that the show delivered more productive characterizations of its regular players and didn’t focus entirely on the villainy of its serial killer bad guys.

How will it work as a series? The tone of the show is set, and so now what has to happen is for Catherine and Thomas to develop a more permanent partnership, one which finds them working together on a regular and official basis. Catherine’s mysterious past is sure to prove intriguing, and I suspect something from it will resurface before long.
How long will it last? Not too long. It has a niche audience as it is, and the premiere didn’t garner nearly enough viewers for its network to consider it a success, especially leading out of the season premiere of “Bates Motel.” I think the network will let it finish up its season and then dispose of it.

Pilot grade: C-

No comments: