×

Blood on her Hands

Susan Lucci's up to her usual no good in a role showcasing her wardrobe and her sly thesping styles. An expensive-looking hand-me-down murder tale written by Steve Johnson and directed without distinction by Steve Robman, it's gloss on pulp paper.

With:
Cast: Susan Lucci, John O'Hurley, Lauren Collins, Philip Casnoff, Kamar de los Reyes, Joe Gifasi, Nicholas Campbell, Dean McDermott, Barbara Eve Harris, Sydnee Newman, Louis Di Bianco, David Gardner, Jennifer Griffin, Shaun Austin-Olsen, Donald Carrier, Katherine Asttby, Barry Blake, Von Flores, Ian Deakin, John, Kirsten Kieferle, James Gonzalez, Gloria Slade, John Dibben, Sandi Stahlbrand, Jane Luk, Deborah Drakeford.

Susan Lucci’s up to her usual no good in a role showcasing her wardrobe and her sly thesping styles. An expensive-looking hand-me-down murder tale written by Steve Johnson and directed without distinction by Steve Robman, it’s gloss on pulp paper.

Isabelle (Lucci), married to incredibly wealthy Stewart (John O’Hurley, with one of the two believable interps), in the first scene is bouncing around in the buff with Richard (Philip Casnoff, the other credible per-former), who sells yachts and wants her to marry him. No, she can’t ditch her husband because she’d lose bland 10-year-old daughter Ruby (Lauren Collins) in a divorce.

Or so our Isabelle claims as she suggests too earnestly that hubby’s been manhandling her. Actually, she wants Richard to put Stewart away, and with her conniving ways, she’ll manage it. Duped Richard hires a gunman, who efficiently goes about his business after Isabelle and Richard have established their separate alibis.

The story’s old hat, and the dialogue — dusting off that scorpion-turtle fable, one character tries making it sound new — doesn’t say much. Writer Johnson introduces no supportive characters to flesh out the storyline and create persuasive texture; indeed, clocking in at only 89-plus minutes for a two-hour air slot, there’s little room for subtlety or exposition.

Isabelle’s character’s jotted down in shorthand — her evil nature’s blamed on a horrid childhood memory in which, in flashbacks, she ties up a fedora’d man again and again with rope. It isn’t explained, and there’s no need.

The attractive Lucci moves Isabelle along by her reliably mechanistic acting style and by the strength of an attention-getting personality.

Kamar de los Reyes adds little spark as a lawyer Isabelle gets her hooks into. Joe Grifasi and Dean McDermott, playing detectives after Isabelle (one of them provides the telepic’s point: “This babe’s got too much time on her hands!”), prove that cop stereotypes are still available. Nicholas Campbell’s the hired killer, and he acts tough.

Secondary casting is disappointing thanks to the writing. Vidpic filmed in Toronto by Robert Primes looks smart, and David Post’s editing assures a good pacing. Susan Longmire’s production design is lovely.

Blood on her Hands

Telepic drama; ABC Sun. March 22, 9 p.m

Production: Filmed in Toronto by Robert Greenwald Prods. Inc. Executive producers, Robert Greenwald, Kimberly Rubin; producer, Philip Klein-bart; co-producer, Helmet Huber; director, Steve Robman; writer, Steve Johnson; story, Kenneth Alan Berg, Johnson.

Crew: Camera, Robert Primes; editor, David Post; production designer, Susan Longmire; art director, Alta Louise Doyle; sound, Karl Scherer; music, Steve Edwards; casting, Robin Lippin, Jon Comerford (Toronto).

Cast: Cast: Susan Lucci, John O'Hurley, Lauren Collins, Philip Casnoff, Kamar de los Reyes, Joe Gifasi, Nicholas Campbell, Dean McDermott, Barbara Eve Harris, Sydnee Newman, Louis Di Bianco, David Gardner, Jennifer Griffin, Shaun Austin-Olsen, Donald Carrier, Katherine Asttby, Barry Blake, Von Flores, Ian Deakin, John, Kirsten Kieferle, James Gonzalez, Gloria Slade, John Dibben, Sandi Stahlbrand, Jane Luk, Deborah Drakeford.

More TV

  • CBS This Morning Ed Sullivan Theater

    'CBS This Morning' Team Anchors From Home Because of Coronavirus Precautions

    “CBS This Morning” has opted to keep its three anchors working from home in light of the expanding coronavirus crisis in New York. Gayle King, Anthony Mason and Tony Dokoupil anchored the show from their respective homes on Monday. King told viewers at the top of the 7 a.m.-9 a.m. ET broadcast that the move [...]

  • His Dark Materials HBO

    'His Dark Materials' Costumers Make Scrubs for U.K. Medics Fighting Coronavirus

    Costumers behind the Bad Wolf-produced HBO and BBC fantasy series “His Dark Materials” have united to make scrubs for medical staff fighting the coronavirus pandemic in the U.K. The initiative, titled “Helping Dress Medics,” brings together a number of staff in the series’ costume department in Cardiff, Wales, and around the U.K. to stitch garments [...]

  • Alex Mahon Channel 4

    The Science of Reinvention: How Alex Mahon is Making History With Channel 4

    Regardless of whom you ask in the U.K. television industry, the astronomical feat of expanding public service broadcaster Channel 4 outside the safety of its edgy, central London home and across three new locations in various corners of the country could only have been carried out by Alex Mahon — a would-be astronaut turned supersonic [...]

  • iheart living room concert for america

    Fox's 'IHeart Living Room Concert for America': TV Review

    There’s something refreshing about something being about what it’s actually about. This was the thought that came to mind as the Backstreet Boys — a band still riding on the afterburn of one massive hit — performed a five-way “socially distanced” version of “I Want It That Way” on Fox’s televised benefit to raise awareness [...]

  • Claire Danes as Carrie Mathison in

    'Homeland': Carrie Mathison Says Goodbye to Longtime Ally (SPOILERS)

    “Homeland” reached another milestone in its final season with the passing of a fan-favorite character who has been with the show since its inception. SPOILER ALERT: The following includes spoilers for “Threnody(s),” episode 8 of the eighth and final season of Showtime’s “Homeland.”  Carrie Mathison has said goodbye to a longtime ally in her quest [...]

  • Jane Levy Breaks Down Special 'Zoey's

    Jane Levy on 'Panic' and Jim Carrey as Inspiration for Special 'Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist' Episode

    SPOILER ALERT: Do not read if you have not yet watched “Zoey’s Extraordinary Glitch,” the eighth episode of “Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist.” “Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist” thrust Jane Levy back into the spotlight as a leading lady in a broadcast series, but the eighth episode of that NBC dramedy, entitled “Zoey’s Extraordinary Glitch,” more literally thrust her into [...]

  • ‘Westworld’: 5 Burning Questions From Season

    ‘Westworld’: 5 Burning Questions From Season 3 Episode 3

    SPOILER ALERT: Do not read if you have not yet watched the third episode of “Westworld” Season 3. After Maeve (Thandie Newton) and Bernard’s (Jeffrey Wright) windy Westworld and Warworld antics from last time around, Episode 3 returned to the equally dangerous environment of future Los Angeles. The episode began with Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood) playing [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content