Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Pilot Review: Secrets and Lies

Secrets and Lies (ABC)
Premiered March 1 at 9pm

I didn’t know anything about this show before I saw previews last week during the Oscars, and it did not pique my interest even slightly. It’s hardly a surprise to learn that this is a remake of an Australian series since that’s pretty much the only way shows get made these days. Like another new remake, “The Slap,” this is a show built heavily around a one-season premise that might not even last that long. Someone was killed, someone else is a suspect, and the fact that he didn’t do it is pretty much irrelevant since everyone thinks he did, and by the time he proves his innocence, enough will have been exposed about him that it will be too late for him to resume a normal life ever again. In the lead is an actor known for being extremely undymanic, and that’s Ryan Phillippe, who was recently better than usual in the final season of “Damages” but is returned to his normal unemotive self in this role as an accused killer with pretty much no hope of ever convincing anyone that he isn’t guilty. Opposite him is Juliette Lewis, a singular actress if ever there was one, removed from the creativity of many of her previous roles, including a recent appearance in the superb “Hellion,” which I saw at Sundance last year, here stuck in a one-note role as the detective intent on nailing Phillippe’s Ben for the crime of which he’s been accused. There’s nothing new or thrilling about this show, which, sadly, isn’t much of a surprise.

How will it work as a series? I could have found out by watching the second episode of this show that aired right after this pilot, but I figured that I have a good enough sense of it not to bother. This kind of mystery just doesn’t appeal to me, and if there had been some element of the premise that was creative, I might have been even somewhat compelled to stick around and give it a chance.
How long will it last? I can’t imagine too long. Again, it doesn’t have a concept build to last for more than a short lifespan, and I think its ratings, which were decent, will crumble considerably after the authenticity of its two-hour premiere is lost. I’d bet on this one to be cancelled well before any talks of renewals from the network even begin.

Pilot grade: D-

No comments: