Hey TV.com, Should I Watch Deception?

By Tim Surette

Jan 06, 2013

Murder! Wealth! A cover-up! Salacious sex! That's the formula trashy television loves to mine for primetime soaps, and it's on full display in NBC's new drama Deception. I've seen the pilot, and I'm here to help guide you through your decision of whether to sit down watch, or skip it in order to finish that crocheted blanket of a dog and a cat hugging. (Between you and me, I'd go with the blanket.)

What is this Deception thing?

Meagan Good stars as Detective Joanna Locasto, the hard-nosed (and sexy!) type. When she learns that her super-rich childhood bestie Vivian Bowers overdosed to death on drugs, she heads back to the Bowers family manor to mourn. But since Deception is a sudser, Vivian quickly realizes that murder may have been involved and goes undercover, and every member of the Bowers family—who once employed Joanna's mom as their housekeeper—is a suspect! Plus people make out and stuff. The series was previously called Infamous, and previously previously called Notorious.

When does Deception premiere?

The first network series premiere of the midseason, Deception gets the jump on the rest of the competition on Monday, January 7 at 10pm on NBC. That's Revolution's old slot, as the new hit is off 'til late March. Deception follows The Biggest Loser, which wraps the second part of its two-part Season 14 debut that same night.

Who created it?

Liz Heldens, who worked on the first four seasons of Friday Night Lights, crafted this drama. She's also worked on Mercy and Prime Suspect.

Who's the target audience?

Fans of shows where every character is rich and good looking and one snooty eyeroll away from a murder spree. This is essentially NBC's shot at recreating the buzz ABC earned with its own wealthy assholes of Revenge.

What's good about the show?

Though it's nothing new, there's a solid dramatic soap concept in place with a rich family that hates each other and an audience surrogate (Joanna) there to walk us through the mysteries. Katherine LaNasa also shines as the wine-chugging, sour step-matriarch Sophia, and Tate Donovan, who is always welcome on my screen, plays the eldest brother. And hey, a minority lead!

What sucks about it?

God, the acting and the dialogue. They're both absolutely atrocious at points. Like, we're talking "one step up from a Lifetime movie" atrocious. The show also asks the audience to take huge leaps of faith, and the convenient connectedness of everyone involved is a bit much.

So should I watch it or not?

This formula worked for Revenge's first season because it embraced its trashiness. Deception makes the mistake of taking itself too seriously, creating a boring hour of television with duds for bombshells. Only tune in if you don't have a crocheted blanket to finish or bar trivia to play or Castle to watch or pretty much anything else to do.

Can I see a trailer?

Actually, you can watch the whole pilot episode, if Hulu allows it.

But if not, here's a trailer:

What beverage would best accompany Deception?

Red wine and some Xanax.

Deception debuts Monday, January 7 at 10pm on NBC.

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  • fandomgirl Jan 08, 2013

    Haha, I read the very first blip about the Deception summary and thought "God, this sounds exactly like Revenge." Sure enough, you and everyone thought so too. NBC needs to get some more original ideas. Frankly, I'd rather watch Revenge for it's campiness. This looks way too serious for its premise.

  • bkyle2429 Jan 07, 2013

    I have seen previews and it looks okay, but I'm going to pass, I watch too much as it is!! but it is not a REVENGE RIPOFF NOT EVEN CLOSE!!!

  • KateSullivan Jan 07, 2013

    I have an agreement with my sister to give this show a try for an episode or two, we both acknowledge the Revenge rip off thing (and I have told her that the CW actually has a good rip off version of Revenge in the form of Arrow, but I don't think she has got on board yet).

  • phonzee101 Jan 07, 2013

    I'm going to keep on watching Five-0 on when it's on.

  • JT_Kirk Jan 07, 2013

    What, it's a ripoff of "Revenge"? I *never* would have guessed by the ridiculous premise or the 3 titles the show went through or the fact that its promos look exactly like Revenge except aired on a different network. "NBC - taking the 'original' out of 'Original Programming'!"

    I don't need plans to not watch this, I would spend my time watching my toenails grow before I watched this.

  • ludoTV Jan 07, 2013

    No way!

  • JamesBong420 Jan 08, 2013

    No freaking way!

  • YiWernYoong Jan 07, 2013

    minority lead...hahhaa is that really a selling point?

  • JT_Kirk Jan 07, 2013

    When a show has this little going for it, I suppose so. We should be thankful actors allow their likenesses and names to be used for this sort of junk at all, I guess. Only the world would be better had they chosen not to.

  • YiWernYoong Jan 08, 2013

    true they were scraping the bottom of the barrel to find anything solid to promote about this show and it hasn't even started yet!

  • natesjokes Jan 07, 2013

    Even the trailer looks terrible, this review just made it that much easier to not watch it. Granted I did enjoy Revenge but that show barely made it for me so I doubt this one will.

  • TrevPlatt Jan 07, 2013

    I have the same reaction to this as I did for Revenge, but back when Revenge started I had a "give everything the four episode test" rule, so I gave it a try - and now I think it's great. Thankfully, after the release of Guys with Kids, The New Normal, Beauty and the Beast, Mob Doctor, Made in Jersey and the plethora of other shite shows this year, I've now abandoned that highly stupid rule so I can completely avoid Deception. Bring on Defiance.

  • Atlantida Jan 07, 2013

    For some reason this Deception thing sounds a lot like Dallas to me - maybe b/c of stupid plot and bad acting, idk. If I don't have anyth to do I'll probably check the first 5 min. Usually it's enough with such an explicit description))

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