Los Angeles Sunset Strip, the Eighties, two LAPD Detectives and serial killers. So far so good. At least as a premise the show has the makings of a hit.
Then you take a look at the cast. Everything that had Jeremy Sisto in is worth taking a look in my opinion, so having him play Jack Roth is a bonus; then there are the likes of Ed Westwick, Erika Christensen, Taissa Farmiga and Gabriel Luna among many others.
A second point for the show.
Then the tagline: In 1982, The Sunset Strip Was Killer. Third point for the show.
The ambience, the photography, the cars, the reference to Peter Frampton. Another score.
Billy Idol Dancing with Myself as the first song of the show to set the tone was a brilliant decision for me, and then the whole 80´s vibe with the music I bet will draw me to come back to the show.
But then… the show starts… can it hold those good ideas and points for a full hour? The ratings have not been good for the premiere, but I´d still take a look for myself.
The smooth operator turned serial killer in the first five minutes. The coke line in the official art. The revealing of who the serial killer is right from the bat.
Many young women come to Hollywood with dreams of becoming a star. And the Sunset Strip was totally the happening place to be seen and make some connections. But you can’t come to the City of Angels without bumping into some evil, which takes the form of Kent Grainger (Ed Westwick, “Gossip Girl”), a tragic soul who craves attention and goes on a murderous rampage to obtain notoriety. Kent is a chameleon who trolls the clubs to pick out his prey and pretends to be a Hollywood VIP who could help these hapless young ladies become stars. But if he finds one special enough to call in a personal song dedication to the local radio station, they are as good as dead.
Detectives Jack Roth (Jeremy Sisto, “Six Feet Under,” “Suburgatory”) and new partner Paco Contreras (Gabriel Luna, “True Detective”) are assigned to the case, and they will definitely have their work cut out for them. Jack has worked some high-profile cases in his time and has numerous contacts on the street. One such contact is Dianne Kubek (Karolina Wydra, “True Blood,” “Crazy, Stupid, Love”), an undercover cop posing as a strip club cocktail waitress/drug dealer. Having an affair with each other also puts a strain on both their working and professional relationship. And Jack still holds a grudge against Paco, who narced on his ex-partner and got him kicked off the force.
Jack and Paco get a break when they stumble upon Karen McClaren (Taissa Farmiga, “America Horror Story”), a young, struggling journalist who is trying to write a big story on the Sunset Strip and make a name for herself. Unbeknownst to her at the time, she was approached by Kent in a club and gave him her phone number. She was also a witness to one of the ladies leaving a club who was later murdered. After getting a call from Kent to meet her again at the club, Jack and Paco convince her to be used as bait to try and catch the killer. But can they protect her against this monster?
Meanwhile, Kent has found himself a young woman who may be his ‘Bonnie’ to his twisted ‘Clyde’ in the form of Betty Beaumontaine (Erika Christensen, “Parenthood”), a nurse and single mother of two with a bit of a sadistic twist. He will find himself tempted to slowly pull her into his perverted world, perhaps joining him in his murderous rampage.
Alliances will be formed between detectives, reporters, drug dealers and club-goers to help solve this case and get this nut job off the street. But the clock is ticking as Kent continues to set his sights on the innocent, and Jack and Paco will go to any means necessary to hunt down and capture this scumbag – dead or alive.
Internal issues in the police department, a copycat killer, a cool vibe to the show. Maybe the problem ratings-wise is that the show looks much more suited for cable than broadcast. And that´s it, the show would kick ass on Starz for instance, where it could also explore deeper in the gore of a serial killer loose on a glamorous city as Los Angeles.
Maybe ABC audiences will take longer to find this show, but it definitely is worth taking a look at.
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