Review: ‘Likely Suspects’

This fairly novel approach to creating interactive television --inviting viewers to take part as amateur sleuths--needs to be more fully explored if this show is to develop legs. While the first episode successfully breaks down the fourth wall, it doesn't go much beyond it.

This fairly novel approach to creating interactive television –inviting viewers to take part as amateur sleuths–needs to be more fully explored if this show is to develop legs. While the first episode successfully breaks down the fourth wall, it doesn’t go much beyond it.

The best thing “Likely Suspects” has going for it is Sam McMurray as wise-cracking Detective Marshak, who gives the show an appropriate amount of comic zing, throwing out as many asides as he has suspects.

Those asides are tossed directly into the camera, as the audience becomes Marshak’s new rookie partner. “You get to play detective, but pay attention because we’ve only got 30 minutes,” he warns.

This first homicide involves the Jacuzzi electrocution of a conniving TV reporter, with a number of viable suspects, including the embittered older wife of the network producer (Barbara Bain).

Working from a set of clues, Marshak leads viewers through a step-by-step examination of the evidence and then solves the crime in 29 1/2 minutes. The big question is whether audience members were able to solve it before him.

Don Scardino directed this first episode rather mundanely, given the built-in ability to bob and weave the camera through various scenarios. There needs to be a keener awareness of the potential for comic interpretation within this kind of interactive set-up. The scripts–Steven Aspis wrote this one–also need to be zippier.

Likely Suspects

(Fri. (11), 9:30-10 p.m., FBC)

Production

A Four Point Entertainment Inc. production. Exec producers, Ron Ziskin, Shukri Ghalayini; co-exec producer, Clifton Campbell; producer, Ziskin; co-producers, Robbie Rowe, Timothy Marx; director, Don Scardino; writer, Steven Aspis.

Crew

Camera, Constantine Makris; production designer, Charles Hughes; editor, Jonathan Moser, sound, David Kirschner; music, James Wesley Stemple, Rick Marotta.

Cast

Cast: Sam McMurray, Jason Schombing, Barbara Bain, Donna Bullock, Rebecca Staab, Doug Wert, Michael Wren, John Ingle, Jill C. Klein.
Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 0

Leave a Reply

No Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More TV News from Variety

Loading