Those are the premises to the three summer TV series that premiered this past week.
Whodunnit on ABC
Whodunnit is basically the board game Clue brought to life. You know, the one you played around your family dinner table, laughing at the parent who could never figure anything out (because s/he didn’t care) and in a cut throat competition with the other parent/siblings to beat them to the conclusion that it was Miss Scarlet in the hall with the knife. Or maybe that was just my family. Anyway, that’s pretty much Whodunnit?.
Thirteen contestants are staying in a mansion for the summer. One of them is the “murder”. One begins the series knowing she’s going to die before the first episode is even over (Spoiler: it’s a pretty blonde girl. Because no one would ever see that coming). One she bites it, the others have to figure out who and how. The viewer watches the contestants gather evidence. They all make their guesses. A creepy butler hands out cards at dinner, and one person finds out s/he was so far off the mark that s/he is the next victim. And onto next week’s episode.
I’ll be honest: this show didn’t do much for me, despite my childhood love of Clue. It’s probably because they edit the show so it isn’t glaringly obvious who the “murder” is to the viewer, and I don’t like being fed bizarre info to throw me off track. But if you like murder mysteries and don’t mind
a million the occasional red herring, this show might amuse you.
Crossing Lines on NBC
Crossing Lines is your basic detective/police show, with the slight twist that it’s set in Europe, so the actors have awesome accents. The main characters are hot shot detectives from the US/Europe who are chasing a serial killer through the EU. Crime procedural shows are not my thing, but this one has a great cast. And I don’t know if there’s anything I like more than watching a hot guy with an Irish accent (hello, Richard Flood). Unless it’s a British one…
Under the Dome on CBS
Ladies and gentlemen, we have a winner! This is the only pilot I’ve watched so far this summer that was just as good as a fall show. In fact, it was better than most of them. If you like sci-fi, creepy stalkers, small-town politics, Stephen King, or simply hot guys, this might be the show for you. Because look:
Isn’t he pretty? If I wasn’t married, I might have to track him down. Even with the nasty bloody hand print in front of him, he’s swoon-worthy.
The premise of this show is that a dome mysteriously appears, sealing off the small town of Chester’s Mill from the rest of the world. No one comes in, no one goes out. Not even sound, radio waves, etc. are permeating this thing. Some people seem unaffected by it. Others are having seizures and chanting strange (and similar) things.
It’s hard to explain much more than that about the show, because I’ve only watched one episode and it pretty much established characters without answering any plot points. But trust me when I say it was fairly riveting.
For those who aren’t big Stephen King fans, know that I’m not either (he drones on and on). Personally, I like his TV/movie adaptations better than his books (tight story telling without all the endless descriptions). I don’t think that should keep you from watching the show. For those who love him, you’ll have to let the rest of us know how this compares to the book.
The other great thing about this pilot was how often the husband and I got to play “That’s _______!” It went like this:
“That’s Frank from Lost!” (Jeff Fahey)
“That’s Victoria from Twilight!” (Rachelle LaFevre)
“That’s Lux from Life Unexpected/the girl from The Secret Circle!” (Britt Robertson)
“That’s grown-up Amy from Little Women!” (Samantha Mathis)
“That’s Dean from Pan Am!” (Mike Vogel, pictured above, who looks SO much better scruffy)
And on and on it went. And then we got to the end of the episode and said: “We have to wait a week for the next one?”
So what do you think? Any of those shows sound interesting? Want to lust over Mike Vogel? Still wishing for fall TV or are you settling into some summer shows?