Now that the holidays are over, we can get back to our regularly scheduled programming, which means new shows. NBC premiered ‘Deception’ on Monday night. It was available On Demand before it’s official premiere, but I waited to watch. So let’s get this out of the way, this show is NOT ‘Scandal’! It’s not trying to be, and it doesn’t need to be. Unfortunately there are few major network shows starring black women, but that doesn’t mean that the two have to be compared. While both are nighttime soap operas that involve murder, secret identities and fine older white men, the similarities stop there. So how was NBC’s latest drama?
Not that bad actually. One of the biggest hurdles the show has to overcome is Meagan Good‘s reputation of only playing the hot girlfriend. She is capable here as detective Joanna Locasto, and as long as they keep her from doing too many action scenes she’ll be fine.
After her best childhood friend Vivian Bowers dies under mysterious circumstances, she goes undercover to find out more about her death and what led to it in the years they had drifted apart. Besides a brief appearance at the beginning and a grainy sex tape, we hardly see Vivian but there are flashbacks to the girls’ friendship and Vivian’s big secret.
The Bowers family is naturally full of private secrets and public eff ups. Over a post funeral dinner Joanna is invited to by patriarch Robert, played by Victor Garber, they engage in some very cliche drunk bickering. Eldest son Edward, Tate Donavan, accuses his little bro Julian, Wes Brown, of being a druggie and obviously has a shaky relationship with his ex wife. He’s set up as the show’s villain, and much is made about a past sex scandal but mostly, he is there to antagonize Joanna and scowl.
He isn’t the only one suspicious of why Joanna is sticking around after Vivian’s funeral, even though she was asked to stay. Vivian’s sister Mia, Ella Rae Peck, plays the brat and seems to be headed down the same path as her sister. She gets involved with a guy who turns out to be a journalist who then ends up getting kidnapped, or killed. This further complicates Joanna’s investigation and she’s left with no other choice but to start working for Robert to find out more about what happened to her best friend.
In all of this, she re-ignites a flame with FBI agent Will Moreno, played by the too handsome Laz Alonso, who is also looking into the death of Vivian. He is one of the brighter spots in an otherwise run-of-the-mill show. I’d appreciate more sex scenes between him and Meagan, but this is NBC, not HBO.
A murder that uncovers the lies of a rich family isn’t the most original concept and this only offers a slight twist. The show was originally titled ‘Infamous,’ and probably changed because although the Bowers brood are all supposed to be well known, I still don’t care about any of their exploits. That is my problem with a lot of these shows, that showcase how supposedly interesting rich white people are just because they’re rich. Yes, I know what site I’m writing for!
And if Vivian’s killer is ever revealed, because we’ve seen other shows have a hard time prolonging their whodunit story, I don’t know where it would go beyond that.
Overall the show is promising and it doesn’t have much competition being on Mondays at 10 p.m, so it isn’t a must-watch yet but i’ll give a chance.
[Editor’s Note: DivaJulia and her SilverFox husband watched Deception as well are willing to give it a few more weeks.]