Revolution is on hiatus until March so NBC needs a new TV show, Deception, to fill the Mondays at 10pm timeslot. Is the series up to the task or will it be cancelled — perhaps even before all 11 produced episodes have aired?
On Deception, a wealthy party girl is mysteriously murdered. Her childhood friend, a San Francisco narcotics detective, is convinced by her former partner to go undercover into the wealthy world she thought she’d left behind. The cast includes Laz Alonso, Meagan Good, Victor Garber, Katherine LaNasa, Tate Donovan, Wes Brown, and Ella Rae Peck.
Sound interesting? Worth watching? Here’s what some of the critics think:
Chicago Sun Times: “I’ve only seen three episodes (and that’s enough for me), but so far Deception feels like one long TV crime drama where everyone takes turns standing under a cloud of suspicion. A comment Heldens made Sunday implies the whodunit is going to drag on for quite a while. Joanna likely will have ‘a pretty good idea’ about who the killer is by the end of the season, ‘and the second season is about proving it.'”
Kansas City Star: “Deception borrows a lot from that show and others, ending up more fun than challenging. But what it lacks in subtlety, it makes up in helicopter rides, exposed biceps and the eventual appearance of John Larroquette. No lie.”
LA Times: “Oddly, where Revenge seems the more credible, or at least consistent, series for being preposterous from top to bottom (paradoxically allowing you to care for its characters), Deception, in trying for something more ‘real’ and not quite getting there, feels fake. There is little chemistry between the people who are supposed to have it.”
USA Today: “Murder mysteries, of course, have long been entertainment staples. The problem for Deception is that whatever small measure of interest it manages to build for that main story is quickly dissipated by the writers’ clumsy weekly efforts to delay a solution. Whenever folks announce they have something important to tell, and yes, they’re that obvious, we know something will stop them from telling. It’s hard to maintain the veil of mystery when the writing is this transparent. We’re ready and willing to be deceived. We just expect you to work harder and better than this.”
Boston Herald: “Vivian’s secrets are predictable. Judging from the first two episodes, Joanna is not much of a sleuth. Scene set-ups go nowhere. Minor characters are brought in, disposed of, and the show bumps along to another complication. Deception’s greatest ruse is how it got on the air in the first place.”
Washington Post: “Although the show tends to forgo character development in favor of throwing in as many stories as possible, the series does improve at filling in the gaps after the pilot episode. (NBC made the first three available for review.) The writers even give us some backstory as to why we should care about family members that don’t seem to like each other all that much.”
San Francisco Chronicle: “Deception was created by Liz Heldens, who worked on Friday Night Lights. The writing (Heldens and Peter Elkoff) is atrocious, the direction (Peter Horton and Jonas Pate) slow and flabby, and the performances run the gamut from sad to just adequate, but even proven actors like Garber couldn’t make us care about any of this. Maybe there should be a rule that TV show creators shouldn’t watch television: That might reduce the number of second-rate imitators junking up prime time. In the case of Deception, make that fourth-rate.”
Salt Lake Tribune: “NBC’s Deception wants to be two shows in one. A lifestyles-of-the-rich-and-famous soap opera and a murder mystery. The result is a show that starts slow and struggles to do either well. It’s OK, but it’s not the show that Revenge is. And the folks at NBC were clearly hoping Deception would be their Revenge.”
What do you think? Does Deception sound like it’s worth your time? If you’ve seen it, will you watch again?