Hey TV.com, Should I Watch Red Widow?

By Tim Surette

Mar 01, 2013

Got an idea for a show that involves a strong female lead doing stereotypically manly things? Pitch it to ABC! The network's affinity for ladies living large continues with the new midseason drama Red Widow, debuting this weekend. But is this Sopranettes worth watching, or should you erase the show from your memory as soon as possible? I've seen the first episode and will help you make a decision. Also, now would be a great time to make sure your memory eraser is charged and ready to go.

What is
Red Widow

Red Widow is not at all about spiders. The hour-long drama stars Radha Mitchell as Marta Walraven, a wife living the good life in NoCal because her husband Evan (Anson Mount) is LOADED thanks to his job as a Russian mobster. But after Evan's idiot brother rips off the most dangerous gangsta in the city, Evan succumbs to the occupational hazard of being killed to death, leaving Marta a... Red Widow. In order to keep her family safe and pay off her family's debt to some bad guys, Marta takes her hubby's place as a tough mobster!

Who Created Red Widow?

The show sprung from the mind of Melissa Rosenberg, whose name you may recognize from that time someone dared you to watch the Twilight movies. Red Widow is based on the Dutch television series Penoza

When does Red Widow premiere?

Red Widow premieres Sunday, March 3 at 9pm with a pair of back-to-back episodes. On March 10, it settles into its regular 10pm slot.

What kind of audience will like Red Widow?

Well I can't say what audience will like it, but I can tell you who the show is trying to bring in: femme-strong ladies who likely have no element of danger in their lives and escape their humdrum existence with page-turning beach books and Julia Roberts movies.

Let's hear the positives!

San Francisco vistas and flyover shots of the Golden Gate Bridge are a common sight, and they look great! Clifton Collins, Jr. (The Event; a personal favorite of mine) plays an FBI man, and he's his usual creepy self. 

Uh-oh, let's hear about the negatives.

Red Widow is a Lifetime movie with a bigger budget but none of the guilty pleasure. Every single character is flat as a board, predictable, and about as delicious as a Saltine cracker; as a result, the show a bore to sit through. Given that it's supposed to be a primetime crime soap, it should have as many twists and turns as San Francisco's famous Lombard Street, but instead it's stiffer than the Transamerica Pyramid. Anson Mount is the best part of the cast by a long shot (and plays the most interesting character), but gets killed off about two commercial breaks in. Also, green screens all over the place!

So what's the verdict—watch or don't watch?

Don't. It's not even worth sitting through to make fun of. This is just plain, uninspired television that makes The Mob Doctor look great. Can I see a trailer anyway? Hmmm... okay.

What drink should I pair with Red Widow if I choose to watch it?

Anything your local bar serves... as in, go to the bar instead. 

Red Widow premieres Sunday, March 3 at 9pm on ABC.
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  • bkyle2429 Mar 05, 2013

    Red Widow is awesome!!!

  • natesjokes Mar 04, 2013

    I dunno, the premise sounds like it could be good. Haven't watched it yet and this review sets very low expectations so I might as well check it out. Plus I spend too much money at the bar anyway.

  • terminaltrip421 Mar 04, 2013

    Tim's review is spot on. I actually went looking for it and read it while red widow was on in the background because I couldn't believe how bad it was and hoped I wasn't alone in thinking so.

  • terminaltrip421 Mar 04, 2013

    the opening bicycling scene screamed missing's opening jogging scene. original!

  • codylundquist Mar 04, 2013

    I would say the biggest shock factor would be that her father killed her husband. Mystery solved :). Next!

  • gtbell Mar 04, 2013

    I always watch the first few eps of any new (drama) show but they had better improve with age or they're done!

  • chris17blue Mar 03, 2013

    Sounds like another Mob Doctor...what's the fascination with mobsters and TV people? I for one won't be turning in, this show sounds terrible.

  • izziee7 Mar 05, 2013

    It's actually pretty good

  • JonSavvy Mar 03, 2013

    Already seen the pilot also and have to say I'll jus record the rest and watch them when I have absolutely nothing interesting to do...Why kill off Anson Mounts xter so soon why not have some other actor play the role of the husband since his death is what the show is based on..but on the upside foor an occasional drama its good

  • MightyMad Mar 03, 2013

    Saw the first episode and completely concur with what Surette said - fact is, Anson Mount is truly by far the best actor, playing the most interesting character in the pilot... and he gets it midway through. I liked Radha Mitchell, but it's obvious her character is gullible as all hell. So am I seriously suppose to sit and watch her idiotic brother (yeah, TIm, the guy who made the dumb move was her dumbass brother, not his...) makes one moronic move after another, just to make the plot move along?
    Forget it - got way more interesting things to do on a Sunday evening.

  • JonSavvy Mar 03, 2013

    I'm with you there....maybe I'll jjus wait for the season finale and watch

  • angrodpallanen Mar 03, 2013

    Sad to hear this. The Dutch show is a fantastic gritty portrayal of a strong woman. I thought the fantastic Mitchell could pull that off. I might check it out since I've been waiting so long for it but it doesn't bare much hope for the future of this show. And now you've mentioned it, why wasn't The Mob Doctor on ABC?

  • MissMunchkin Mar 03, 2013

    You talking about the Golden Gate Bridge reminded me of Charmed... I miss that show.

    Uh... this show, though? I might give it a looksie if it lasts more than 2 episodes. It sounds like a depressing premise, though.

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