Due to the frustrating nature of Shonda Rhimes’ “TGIT” ABC lineup, in which we lose How to Get Away With Murder after only five episodes each spring, a void has allowed the map of “Shondaland” to gain a new shining city — well, television show, that is. Unfortunately, The Catch is a bit too shiny and less intelligent than it should be, and after the success of HTGAWM, Scandal and Grey’s Anatomy, we’re baffled at how a Rhimes show could go wrong.
Pulling out ever gimmick in the book, including slow-mo, split screens and that awful infusion of Pit Bull music, The Catch is a sunnier side of cops and robbers, only the subjects of this show are Private Investigators. Still, it somehow manages to have the staleness of an ION or USA marathon, they do love their Criminal Minds and Law & Order reruns, and that fun-loving cutesy vibe so known to shows like Castle. It’s a far cry from the typical TGIT fare, but the lighter atmosphere is not to blame for the sheer unimportance of this pilot.
Fans of The Killing will rejoice at seeing Mireille Enos once again in a kick-butt-take-names role again, but they might be thrown off by how much makeup she’s wearing — in fact, she’s barely recognizable as Alice Vaughan. As usual, she’s a woman with a mission, because while running a high profile, security firm, she and her team have been dogmatically teased by a con-artist known only to them as Mr. X. After a classic ‘They almost caught him!’ or ‘He was right beside you, idiot!” scene, in which the charlatan makes a successful drop with a worker bee before changing into a disguise, Mr. X narrowly walks past Vaughan, casually glancing back at her as he’s leaving.
Of course, Vaughan has never really been that far from catching him, seeing as how they share a shower, and a bed and, well, everything. Peter Krause is nothing short of emasculated as Christopher Hall, the investigators’ ask-for-nothing fiancé who just so happens to con her out of $1.4 million after she’s already shelled out for her wedding gown — and tried it on. Not to leave any cliché out, they even covered the bad guy with a heart of gold vibe he has going on, since he’s really in love with Alice and just wants to elope, only he can’t cause, you know, he’s a conman.
Figuring out that it was her clients he and his colleagues were after, she sets up a sting that ends in with the trick being on her lover, also known as “Ben,” when he inadvertently reverses the bank transactions and loses the money he stole.
Judging from the preceding hype and fanfare, ABC clearly had high hopes for this sexy ‘drama,’ but it ended up feeling less like a game of cat and mouse and more like a regurgitation of Rhimes’ other hit shows, the formulaic structure of her previous endeavors becoming more obvious when The Catch tries to imitate it.
Word of advice: If you like the other Shondaland locals, you might want to drive past this one.
The Catch airs Thursday nights at 10/9 c.
Follow Sara Snoddy on Twitter at @Sara_Snoddy.
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