This Is Not a Review: ABC's Pilot Red Widow

Alert! This is not a review. I repeat, this is not a review. Throw a "p" on that, please, 'cause this is a preview of the early version of a pilot, a pilot that will almost certainly undergo some form of change before it airs in its final form. Consider this a first impression of a work-in-progress.



Red Widow (Midseason on ABC)

STARRING: Radha Mitchell (Silent Hill), Wil Traval (Underbelly: The Golden Mile), Jaime Ray Newman (Eureka), Luke Goss (Witchville).

THE GIST: Marta Walraven (Mitchell) lives a cushy life with her husband and three kids in Northern California, a life that's funded by some not-so-legal activities on her husband's part. But when her husband is killed after a deal gone sour, Marta is forced to work in organized crime to pay off a debt and protect her family.

SNAP JUDGMENT: Surprise, surprise. Another ABC show about a strong, central female character. But this one feels more like the housewife-turned-badass of Missing (without the plane chasing) than the soapy, backstabbing delight of Revenge. I'm trying to figure out how to differentiate Red Widow from a bigger-budget Lifetime movie, and if come up with any I'll let you know. The pilot is pretty much an origin story, so it's hard to get a grip on what the rest of the series will be like. Until then, Red Widow is the kind of beach-reading page-turner that stokes bored housewives' fantasies when Fabio and 50 Shades of Grey aren't doing the trick.

PILOTITIS DIAGNOSIS: Red Widow, are you sitting down? Good. Because I have bad news: You have a serious case of pilotitis. But it isn't terminal! It was almost necessary, in fact, to set up the emotional weight of the story. However, the pilot is pretty much just a detailed retelling of the logline with zero surprises.

FACE(S) TO LOOK OUT FOR: Oddly enough, the most compelling actor in the pilot is Anson Mount (Hell on Wheels), who plays Marta's husband. And we all know what happens to his character. Maybe he'll show up in flashbacks?

RANDOM THOUGHT(S): It really feels like we've seen this show before.

EXCITEMENT LEVEL: Ehhh, not feeling like this will be anything but an easy-on-the-brain distraction. This is only bouncing the needle to about a 4 out of 10 on the excite-o-meter.

TRAILER:


Red Widow is set to be a midseason entry for ABC sometime in 2013. It currently has an eight-episode order.


Follow TV.com writer Tim Surette on Twitter: @TimAtTVDotCom

Comments (13)
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This year Mid-season kicked ass what with Scandal, the Bee in 23, The Newsroom, Continuum (Canadian but really really good - check it out Tim) and a few others. And now I'm good to go for the summer as Alphas, Warehouse 13, Suits, Rizzoli and Isles, The Closer, The Glades and Leverage will be - or are already - back and I'm good to go...



btw - Red Widow looks decent and I'll watch...
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I kinda like Radha Mitchell, but I have no plans on watching this. Maybe if I hear after the third or fourth episode that it turns out to be good, I'll give it a shot, but until then... no.
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AND it's midseason? Thanks, no, easy pass.
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Radha Mitchell !!!!!!!!!!!!! OMG I'm so excited ^^
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Weeds
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This sounds like Weeds to me.
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The premise is somewhat interesting but it depends on the writing.
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Cool. Radha Mitchell is always awesome!!
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I'm almost intriguied enough to watch, but ...I would rather have Missing back.
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Red Widow... I can't get past that title. Is she a Soviet spy? I keep thinking of Red October.
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Sounds good to me. And if you've never read The Hunt for Red October then you're just wrong because it blows the movie away...
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Jaime Ray Newman is fine. That is my only thought on this matter.
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I know I'm probably the minority but I actually want to see this, the premise sounds interesting enough... so I'll probably give it a chance. Besides, remember how Revenge looked terrible and the pilot was sort of meh and then it turned out to be great? That's why I never judge a show by its pilot.

BTW, Radha Mitchell is a ringer for Amber Valleta.
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