Stay Tuned
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Tuesday, April 07, 2009

"Harper's Island" Review: We're In For A Wild Ride

Call it “Twin Peaks” syndrome.

A show takes television by storm, driven by a mystery that has viewers captivated. But once that mystery is solved, the show loses its way as it struggles to figure out what to do in the second season.

It makes you wonder what would happen if the show just ended when the mystery was solved.

Leave it to CBS to give us the answer…

Thursday, CBS will premiere “Harper’s Island” a 13-episode murder mystery with a definitive ending date—July 2nd. And if that premiere is any indication, we’re in for a wild ride…

When “Island” opens, guests are gathering for the week-long celebration culminating in the wedding of Trish Wellington (Katie Cassidy) and Henry Dunn (Christopher Gorham), or as their friends call them “the princess and the pauper.” Among the guests is Henry’s best friend, Abby Mills (Elaine Cassidy), who lived on Harper’s Island until seven years ago when her mother and five other people were murdered by John Wakefield. She hasn’t returned since which has made for a strained relationship with her father, Charlie (Jim Beaver), the island’s sheriff. Being back on the island brings back a lot of bad memories for Abby—especially when strange things start happening.

Meanwhile, Trish has problems of her own when a wedding crasher (Victor Webster) threatens to ruin the wedding and it’s clear that her father (the always solid Richard Burgi) is not real thrilled with his daughter marrying the guy who used to wash his cars.

And Henry’s brother, C.J. (Dean Chekvala), also threatens to ruin the festivities with his unpredictable and worrisome behavior.

But the real theme here is murder as each week another one will take place. By the 13th episode, all of our questions will be answered and we’ll know the identity of the killer. And because we all know that’s the show’s premise, the writers milk it for all its worth. I jumped at least three times in anticipation of the first murder on the island. And there are plenty of whispers and secret meetings to throw suspicion on everyone.

And did I mention the creepy little girl (Cassandra Sawtell)?

I love a good soap opera and this one has all of the components of one. And the added element of murder just spices it up even more. Plus, we’ve been promised an actual solution, which makes it a little easier to take the chance.

But I’ll probably tape the show so I can watch it in the daylight. I don’t mind jumping as much when I can see what’s going on…

“Harper’s Island” premieres Thursday, April 9th at 10 p.m. on CBS…

Photo Credit: Chris Helcermanas-Benge/CBS