Hidden Palms

Season 1 Episode 1


Aired Wednesday 8:00 PM May 30, 2007 on The CW
out of 10
User Rating
504 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

Having spent a portion of the previous twelve months in rehab following the suicide of his father, Johnny Miller, his mother, and his new stepfather move to Palm Springs. Here he meets the enigmatic Greta, increasingly creepy Cliff, mayor's daughter Michelle, and brainy Liza. It soon becomes clear that Cliff and Greta know more about each other, not to mention the death of one of the previous occupants of Johnny's home, than they are letting on.moreless

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  • wow dawsons creek and oc rolled into one!!! you cant goe wrong!

    i have to agree i think its defo a toss up between (a great) dawsons creek and (an even better) oc lets hope that it keeps it up for the rest of the series. so what do you think might be the mystery surrounding eddies death?

    a prank that went wrong? erm maybe or was it eddie getting in the way this cliff seems very sly!! the next episode sounds very interesting and i cant wait for wednesdays showing this is all i wanted to say really but with having to write the minium of a hundred words i need to keep writing there we go 107 bye for nowmoreless
  • Johnny, his mom and his new dad move to Palm Springs.

    Interesting start to this new series with some standard characters and storylines but also some new twists.

    The storyline of a young guy moving to a new environment due to circumstances beyond his control is, of course, not new. The new environment being Palm Springs provides plenty of opportunity to look at beautiful and rich people.

    This is remeniscent of The O.C. and, to a certain extent, Dawson's Creek (written by ...).

    Johnny is not in trouble with the law, but has an alcohol problem and discovers that the guy who lived in his room shot himself, just like Johnny's dad.

    A pilot is always difficult, many new characters to introduce and viewers do not yet know the characters.

    So far, Johnny seems sympathetic, so let's hope his character and the other get a chance to develop further.moreless
  • In this episode we meet Johnny, a confused, troubled teenager dealing with his fathers sudden suicide with alchol. Johnny moves to Palm Springs with his mom and "new dad", where he realizes that Palm Springs has a bit of history when it comes to murder.moreless

    This Show is so Compelling and Mysterious, its awesome. All the Aspects in this show combined into a great murder story, and causes you to think about all the characters and question if they're the good guys, or the bad guys. One thing I found very cool was the part that everyone so far in Hidden Palms has their own way of welcoming Johnny to Palm Springs. For example, Greta was running ramdomly through sprinklers, while Cliff pretends to murder someone in his room behind a curtain. Got to admit, who ever came up with those first expressions has a very clever mind.moreless
  • Uneven pilot that benefits from interesting characters.

    After witnessing his father’s suicide and drifting in and out of rehab for a year, Johnny Miller is settling down in Palm Springs with his mother and stepfather. Once the brightest kid in school, he’s pushed education aside (causing him to drop back a grade) in order to pursue photography -- a way of following his father’s final lesson that academics aren’t as important as individual expression. Johnny’s struggling to cope with his new life and fit in, but he’s repulsed by his mother’s marriage; not because the stepfather’s bad (he’s quite nice, actually) but because of her adulterous past, which Johnny blames for his father’s death.

    Most of the episode revolves around Johnny exploring the neighborhood and bumping into other kids. There’s Michelle, daughter of the Mayor, who’s coping with her father’s third trophy wife that’s only a couple years her senior. Then there’s Liza Witter, a science prodigy whose experiments annoy the head of the neighborhood council, her mother. And there’s Cliff Wiatt, a slick party-boy who, despite a morbid sense of humor, puts on a friendly face. And, finally, we have Greta Matthews, the mysterious, eccentric beauty who immediately catches Johnny’s eye.

    The show also sets up an ongoing mystery: an intense, secret love/hate relationship between Cliff and Greta revolving around the death of a friend who used to live in Johnny new house.

    The show is off to a good start with a simple, but intriguing story, nice characters, and some fine acting. But there’s a major problem: someone decided to give the parents just as much screen time as their kids. Not a bad idea in and of itself but, while the kids are wonderfully clever and interesting characters, their parents are a disappointing batch of WASPy, gated-community stereotypes with the typical quirks of plastic surgery, alcoholism, and false smiles that hide back-stabbing manipulations. It’s painfully derivative and I hope the writers try find a new direction to take it off in.

    It is nice, though, to finally get another series from Kevin Williamson, a great writer who’s often dismissed because of his horror works. And, while the story is uneven and some of the characters don’t entirely work, Williamson’s proven in the past that he’s a master of individual scenes. The opening suicide, the explosive introduction of Liza, and pretty much every interaction between Johnny and Greta are all intricately crafted. Even the parent parts, though cliché, are nicely written.

    And Leslie Jordan! How could I possibly end this review without mentioning Leslie Jordan who effortlessly steals the show as Jessie Jo, drag-queen leader of Johnny’s local support group who sheds the wig and dress to work as waiter to the snide upper-class.

    All in all, it’s a good (not great, but good) pilot that doesn’t completely have me hooked, but I will be checking in for the next few weeks just to see where they go.moreless
  • So far so good. Hope it gets better after while.

    I don't really like Pilots. They are usually quite boring because you have to set the scene and the general situation and it's normal and it's a must-be because you can't do it any other way. But still Pilots are boring. "Hidden Palms" is a great example that I can support my thesis with.

    First of all setting the place reminded me of "Dexter" (and Johnny looked alike teenage Dexter too). Johnny shows up, meets the neighborhood, we do the same. All those people seem so sophisticated which makes it easier for us, men in the streets, to believe that there is something they are trying to hide. The episode clearly let us know there is something going on and it even involves a boy's death. It somehow links Greta with Cliff and Eddie. My guess is that at some point they were instrumental in him dying. On the other hand I hope it is not gonna to turn out to be that simple, is it? I think the hints we were given about some dirty secrets are a good start but also I'd add something to it. My rule is not to give up on a show right after 1x01 (the only exception is "Rome") so I am planning to see at least 2 or 3 next episodes but I wasn't really attracted. Some say it is not possible to fall for a show after Pilot episode. Let's hope they are right because so far it was okay and nothing more.

    Some people are quite funny though like the transvestite at the support group sessions that Johnny met later at the party or the woman who keeps having her nose operated so that it looks better. I believe she was Cliff's mother. You can say it's funny, if not pathetic.moreless
Nicole Bilderback

Nicole Bilderback

Blair Meadows

Guest Star

Kevin Kilner

Kevin Kilner

George Witter

Guest Star

Tim DeKay

Tim DeKay

Johnny's Father

Guest Star

Leslie Jordan

Leslie Jordan

Jesse Jo

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (3)

  • QUOTES (6)

    • Greta: (to Johnny) I hope you don't mind, I got a little creative with your outlet.

    • Greta: You're channel-surfing and you find Titanic, Leo and Kate, it's half over and on the other channel is a Will Ferrel comedy you haven't seen yet. Which do you watch?
      Johnny: Leo and Kate.
      Greta: I hate romantic soaps.
      Johnny: Me too, I wanna watch the ship sink.

    • Johnny's father: Tonight I write the saddest line... to think that I do not have her.
      Johnny: C'mon dad! I love drunk time but have really need to finish this.
      Johnny's father: Ok, ok sorry. I'm going.
      Johnny: No, no problem. It's just it's getting late.
      Johnny's father: (looking sad) Yeah, it is...too late (Johnny continues with his homework and his father stands up and starts to leave) Be easy on the numbers son, they're too damn accurate. Life can be so...unexpected.
      Johnny: Got it! Night dad. (his father walks out the room, turns, and takes out a gun and shoots himself)

    • Johnny: (to his father) Somebody is drunk...

    • Helen: I'm overly protective of our little community. It only takes one wrong element.
      Blair: (to Karen) I'm the mayor's wife. She can't touch me.
      Helen: Yes you are. His third wife... (to Karen) I'm waiting for the fourth.

    • Nina: Hi Helen, what's all this?
      Helen: It appears the property line, that we thought was the property line, isn't really the property line!
      Nina: Really?
      Helen: I was shocked too.

  • NOTES (10)