Sunday, September 29, 2013

Pilot Perception: Betrayal

Welcome to Pilot Perception, our feature in which we break down the first episode of each new show in order to help you decide whether it's worth your time.

THE SHOW: Betrayal, in the U.S. andin Canada on Sundays at 10/9c.

THE PEDIGREE: The show was written by David Zabel (ER, Detroit 1-8-7) and directed by Patty Jenkins (The Killing, Monster), and is executive produced by Zabel, Lisa Zwerling (ER, Flash Forward), Alon Aranya (Red Widow, Hostages), and Rob Golenberg (Red Widow).

THE CAST & HOW YOU KNOW THEM: The show stars Hannah Ware (Shame, Boss) as Sara Hanley, Stuart Townsend (The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen) as Jack McAllister, Chris J. Johnson (Against the Wall, Vampire Diaries) as Drew Hadley, James Cromwell (Babe, American Horror Story) as Thatcher Karsten, Henry Thomas (E.T., Gangs of New York) as T.J. Karsten, Wendy Moniz (Guiding Light, The Guardian) as Elaine McAllister, and (I'm sneaking in a potential recurring character) Merrin Dungey (Alias, The King of Queens) as Sara's editor.

THE PREMISE: Betrayal centers on Sara, a beautiful but unhappily married female photographer who begins a torrid affair with Jack, a lawyer for a powerful family.


WHAT WORKS: For a pilot episode, I think Betrayal was executed very well. It sucks you in with a future tragic incident and quickly begins to fill in the blanks. The main cast suits the show well and immediately you start to feel the tension between several of the relationships. Since Betrayal revolves around an affair you can expect an onslaught of sex scenesSo if you're into that, you'll like this episode/show. If not, well see below.

WHAT DOESN'T: The most notable concern I have for this show is plot sustainability. How long can a team of writers draw out an affair? The "tragic incident" is set SIX months in the future, so we will need resolution sometime during the first season. If Betrayal is renewed for a second season, I can't see where the writers will take us. Also, two tiny and unrelated notes. One: Hannah Ware is English. I spotted the accent cover-up. Not sure that will affect viewership though. Two: I was not aware a network show could air a blurry butt and - what felt like - minutes worth of sex

YOU MIGHT LIKE THIS if you're a Shonda Rhimes (Grey's Anatomy, Scandal) fan. Betrayal looks like it will be focusing on how to make the audience root for the two characters having an affair, just like Olivia and President Grant on Scandal. Betrayal also gives me a Revenge vibe. ABC is certainly enjoying adding to their drama list!

IF YOU'RE INTERESTED: The season premiere airs tonight on both ABC and CityTV and Episode 2 follows the week after. You can also catch the latest episode on or .

(Photo courtesy of ABC Studios.)
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