First Impressions


Aired on: NBC

Reviewed by Melissa Minners


                I couldn't wait for the new season of television with all of its promising new dramatic series.  I like the comedies, don't get me wrong, but I love a drama I can really sink my teeth into.  One such drama's previews looked extremely promising.  Deception aired on Monday, January 7, 2013 at 10pm EST and I couldn't wait to check it out.

                When wealthy, yet troubled, socialite Vivian Bowers (Bree Williamson) is found dead in a hotel room, FBI Agent Will Moreno (Laz Alonso) believes she was murdered.  What's worse is that he believes she has been murdered by members of her own family.  The Bowers are a dysfunctional family with criminal dealings and Moreno has vowed to bring them down.  He turns to Police Officer Joanna Locasto (Meagan Good), Vivian's former best friend, and persuades her to find her way back into the family graces so she can expose who Vivian's killer really is. 

                Joanna is not exactly convinced nor thrilled with the idea of insinuating herself back into the affairs of a family her mother used to work for.  True, she and Vivian had been best friends, but that friendship had ended years ago and there were demons in that house she would like to forget.  Unfortunately, once Joanna starts digging, she realizes that Moreno may be right.  But will Joanna be able to handle the truth she digs up?

                Honestly, I really wanted to like this show and it did have some good attributes, like a cast that was easy on the eyes, a heroine that is tough as nails, but possesses a softer side, and an intriguing storyline.  I enjoyed the flashbacks that gave us insight into Joanna and Vivian's relationship and Joanna's relationship with other members of the Bowers family, especially brother Julian (Wes Brown).  I found the hints at a former romance between Julian and Vivian to be intriguing as well. 

                Unfortunately, that's where it ends for me.  I just knew that the mark on Vivian's face in the crime scene photos was obviously from a signet ring.  Only that sort of ring, one with a distinctive design, could make that sort of impression on her face.  Sure enough, my theory was justified as we watch Julian sob while tossing a ring with what looks like it can possibly be a family crest into the water.  Now, I know it would be too easy to assume that this means he is the killer, but I was disappointed to see them reveal this so quickly.  Sure, I picked it up right away, but maybe other viewers wouldn't have known what could have made this mark on her face. 

                The chemistry between some characters seems okay.  The actors who portray Julian and Joanna and Vivian as adults and teens are great and have good chemistry with each other.  Victor Garber is well-cast as the patriarch of the Bowers family and CEO of the pharmaceutical firm that keeps them in riches.  The rest are rather stiff and Tate Donovan is just plain annoying as Vivian's older brother.  The chemistry between former law enforcement partners and lovers Moreno and Locasto is simply non-existent and their relationship is just not believable in the least.

                But there is something else missing from this show - memorability: that thing that makes you want to talk about this show in explicit detail to others in order to persuade them to watch.  I was trying to talk to a friend about this show today and found that I couldn't even remember the main characters names or the fact that the family ran a pharmaceutical firm.  I remembered that the FBI was watching the family, but couldn't remember why or why Moreno thought that one of Vivian's own family members had killed her.  When you can't remember the main facts about the show, more often than not, the show hasn't made all that much of an impression on you and that's what Deception left me - little to no impression and no desire to actually follow it through to its conclusion.

                Sadly, the first show I have watched out of the 2013 line-up is nothing I expected or hoped for.  Deception is not one of those shows I'll be adding to my must watch television list this year.


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