ABC, Sundays 10/9 Central
Sep 29, 2013
Opening scene: siren, ambulance, a woman very hurt. The woman is photographer Sara (Hannah Ware) and we have no idea why she is in this state, as in the following scenes she is at a group art opening where she is one of the artists. Here, she meets attorney Jack (Stuart Townsend) who is there at his boss's request. Sara is married to another attorney, district prosecutor Drew (Chris Johnson) who is out to get Jack's boss, Thatcher (James Cromwell), who also raised Jack and is Jack's father-in-law. This interlacing web doesn't stop Sara and Jack from connecting both spiritually and physically: he buys a piece of her art and bumps into her on his way to framing it; she offers to frame it for him; they meet up to hand off the framed piece. Next thing, they are at a beach, at a restaurant, at a hotel. Things are aborted here, but they are picked up again at Sara's photo studio. While this is going on, Thatcher's brother-in-law is killed and all evidence points to Thatcher's mentally challenged son, T.J. (Henry Thomas), as the culprit.
These types of overlapping storylines with tons of money, power, and sex being thrown about are just plain fun—if you don't take them too seriously (think Revenge and Scandal). The acting lacks conviction, but with a script this predictably sudsy, acting chops aren't at the top of the required list. The last part Thomas played that had any teeth to it was his first memorable one, Elliott in E.T. His turn at playing someone with a disability is so not believable—it seems like it is Thomas, and not his character, that is addled. Townsend is never good in any role. As the guy tempting enough to warrant an affair, Townsend is utterly unconvincing—plus, he's got a terrible haircut. His paramour, Ware, looks like a teenager and one is more concerned about pedophile charges than infidelity ones where she's involved. Their spouses are phoning in their performances long distance, so the start of the affair seems inevitable. This brings us back to the opening scene, which is also the closing scene, slotted in to make sure we tune in again because nothing else that has happened in the duration of the show justifies our return. (www.abc.go.com/shows/betrayal)
Author rating: 4.5/10
Average reader rating: 8/10