My Take on…DECEPTION: REVENGE-lite, and that’s not a good thing

Deception - Season PilotTonight on NBC, the first of their two new midseason dramas premieres. DECEPTION (10/9c) tells the story of a wealthy NY family, the Bowers, who are dealt a blow when the oldest daughter, Vivian, is found dead of an apparent overdose. The seemingly-reformed party-girl’s death brings her old best friend Joanna Locasto (once the daughter of the Bowers’ old made, now an SFPD cop) back to the manor to investigate exactly what happened. When she gets back to town, she starts to uncover more secrets than she was anticipating, everywhere she looks.

The cast, led by a competent Meagan Good as Joanna, includes two of my favorite people – Victor Garber and Laz Alonso – and is rounded out by familiar faces Tate Donovan, Wes Brown, Marin Hinkle, Katherine LaNasa (doing her best Madeline-Stowe-as-Victoria-Grayson), and fresh faces Ella Rae Peck and Bree Williamson (as dead-girl-Vivian).

What the show boils down to is a REVENGE-like (REVENGE-lite) “thriller” that doesn’t pack the punch of the better show’s first season. Victor Garber is great as an over-the-top patriarch to this family full of narcissists, and Laz Alonso and Meagan Good have a very palpable chemistry that I believe, but everything else felt “done before” and the show as a whole left something to be desired.  It wasn’t quite the edge of the seat mystery I was hoping for, and though I’ll give it a few episodes, it doesn’t seem to be season-pass-DVR worthy!