TV Previews

Midseason Preview: 'Deception'


NBC’s new soapy drama “Deception” was high on our list of anticipated 2013 shows and today the network gave us an early Christmas present by premiering the pilot online, three weeks before it was set to debut in primetime. Did it live up to our (admittedly high) expectations?


Yes and no. The concept of the show is as soapy as it gets. The Bowers are a super wealthy family and of course their closets are filled with skeletons. The pilot begins with Vivian Bowers (guest star Bree Williamson) being followed to her car. It seems sketchy, but Vivian recognizes the person following her and invites him or her (impossible to tell thanks to well-placed shadows) to get into her car. The next thing we know, Vivian is dead and her body is being discovered by the hotel maid.

Next, we get to meet Vivian’s family as they are told the horrible news. Her father Robert (Victor Garber) is devastated, but his wife Sophia (Katherine LaNasa) doesn’t seem overly broken up about it. Vivian’s brothers, Edward (Tate Donovan) and Julian (Wes Brown), are each dispatched to take care of difficult tasks. Edward has to ID the body at the morgue and Julian has to let little sister Mia (Ella Rae Peck) know that the sister she worshipped is gone.

Meanwhile, we’re introduced to Joanna (Meagan Good) while she is in the middle of a bust. We soon learn that the cop was best friends with Vivian when they were kids because Joanna’s mom worked for the Bowers. Joanna is devastated by the terrible news and then she’s thrown for a loop when she learns that the police suspect foul play and not just a drug overdose. They want Joanna to go undercover and get close to the Bowers’ family again to find out what really happened to Vivian.

The premise is great. There’s plenty of dirty laundry to go around and we learn a few big secrets right off the bad, which will keep the audience intrigued. The pilot moved at a fast pace and there are going to be the inevitable “Revenge” comparisons, even though Joanna is just trying to find the truth and not bring down the entire family. However, it does feel like something is missing from the show. All the ingredients are there, but someone forgot to put in the special, super-secret one that’s going to make this show stand out from the rest.

That being said, it’s definitely worth a second look and hopefully a third and a fourth and so on, even if the biggest “twist” in the pilot was completely predictable to anyone who has ever watched a soap opera.

“Deception” premieres Monday, Jan. 7 at 10:00 p.m. EST on NBC. Or you can go here and watch the pilot right now. 

Mandy Treccia
Mandy Treccia has served as TVSource Magazine’s Executive Editor since 2016, formerly as Editorial Director from 2012-2016. She is an avid TV watcher and card carrying fan girl prone to sudden bursts of emotion, ranging from extreme excitement to blind rage during her favorite shows and has on more than once occasion considered having a paper bag on hand to get her through some tough TV moments. Her taste in TV tends to rival that of a thirteen-year-old girl, but she’s okay with that.

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