Or Nah? is a feature where we watch and review the first episode of a new TV show. We’ll let you know if it’s worth checking out. As always, these reviews are the opinion of the reviewer, but we’ll try to adequately explain why you should or shouldn’t give the show a chance and provide shows for comparison.
S1E1: Pilot | Thursdays at 10pm | ABC – 13 episode season
Starring: Mireille Enos, Rose Rollins, Peter Krause, Sonya Walger, Jay Hayden, Elvy Yost, Alimi Ballard, Jacky Ido
The Catch is a mid-season series debuting on ABC in the timeslot that was formerly occupied by How to Get Away With Murder until its finale last week. Created by Jennifer Schuur and executive produced by Shonda Rhimes, Betsy Beers, and Julie Anne Robinson, the show will fit right into the current slate of TGIT shows which anchors Thursday nights for the network. The Catch, in true Shondaland fashion, features a high powered female investigator, Alice Vaughan (Mireille Enos), who is the owner of a private security firm. The tables turn on Vaughan when she finds out that her fiancée Christopher is not who he says he is and he’s stolen everything she has.
The show has three elements Shondaland is known for: a fast-talking woman lead; a fast-paced, driving plot; and a strong supporting cast. Working with Alice are her longtime partner, Valerie Anderson, her tech expert Danny Yoon, and newcomer to the team, Sophie. The first episode opens with a Thomas Crowne-esque heist, which Alice and her team thwarts. As a long-time watcher of Grey’s I knew the painting in question would be a through-line for the episode. They set up Alice as a woman who is very competent and capable only to immediately knock her down. The firm has been outwitted by Mr. X who’s been stealing from their clients and of course Mr. X is Alice’s fiancée, Christopher (Peter Krause, Parenthood). Mr. X is also being chased by an FBI agent, Jules Dao (Jacky Ido), who Alice doesn’t want to help because of her shame at being swindled. On Mr. X’s team are Reggie and his lover Margot, played by Sonya Walger, who is the mastermind of their operation.
Overall, the show is a sexy cross between Scandal and Ocean’s Eleven. With the con element and the personal vendetta between Alice and her fiancée it has the potential for lots of twists and turns.
- The clothes and styling are impeccable. Even though Alice does lots of work out in the field, she always looks immaculate, as does her partner Valerie.
- Peter Krause as Mr. X. Usually Krause can be type-cast as the suburban dad but here he feels worldly and urbane. Also you can tell he really cares for Alice even when he’s playing her.
- The supporting cast. Jacky Ido who seems fairly new to Hollywood, brings gravitas to Agent Dao. And Sonya Walger, who most people probably remember as Penny from Lost brings a slinky, sexy feeling to Margot.
- There’s potential for the show to become a “con of the week”-type procedural. Without having seen episode two, I can’t say that it will definitely be that, but Scandal and HTGAWM did struggle to find that balance in the beginning.
*A note about the casting: Originally, the show starred newcomer Kieran Booth as Alice’s fiancée and Bethany Joy Lenz (One Tree Hill) as his lover/partner. Although both actors were probably great, I do believe it was a good decision to recast with older actors. When I saw the original teaser with Booth and Lenz, it felt like Alice had been bested by a younger guy, almost like he was her boy-toy and she should have known better. With Krause and Walger it feels like Alice is at odds with her peers. Essentially, it makes Alice come off better and makes her fall even more heartbreaking.
Watch This If: You like Scandal, How To Get Away With Murder, or Leverage
Don’t Watch If: You’re not a Shondaland fan. Although it’s different, the feel is the same. Don’t waste your time if you’re not someone who likes her style.