Deception Puts a Twist on Crime Shows

Deception Puts a Twist on Crime Shows

Emily Massarelli

Julian, Joanna, and Mia sit at dinner
Julian, Joanna, and Mia sit at dinner

In past years, television shows based on murder mystery are a dime a dozen.  From Law & Order to Revenge it’s nearly impossible to flip through the channels without stumbling across a show about crime.  With so much competition out there, it’s difficult to find a show that isn’t too cliche and is able to snag a viewer’s interest. Most shows feature a predictable murder with a twist and an unexpected killer. Deception avoids the typical plot of a crime show with an interesting and enticing twist.

NBC’s new drama Deception is on Mondays at nine p.m. and puts an interesting twist on murder mystery shows. The show mixes the aspect of gossip and romance of most teen shows with the mystery and crime of CSI.  Main character Joanna Locasto (Meagan Good) is a detective who as a child lived with the notoriously wealthy Bowers family due to the fact that her mother was their housekeeper.  Over the years she and Vivian Bowers became best friends; however, as they grew up they grew apart. Soon Vivian gained the reputation of a partying alcoholic and drug addict. Little did her family know of the secret life she hid.  Joanna is brought back into the Bowers’ lives when she is told by former boyfriend and federal agent Will Moreno (Laz Alonso) that Vivian is dead.  With such a wild past it is easy to dismiss Vivian’s death as a careless overdose, yet some insist Vivian had changed her partying ways.  It all leads to one question: was Vivian murdered?

Joanna is convinced by Will to become friendly with the Bowers again in order to investigate Vivian’s death. In order to gain their trust, Joanna lies that she has just recently escaped an abusive relationship.  Soon enough Vivian’s father Robert Bowers (Victor Garber)  lends a generous and helping hand to Joanna and offers a room for her at their mansion.  Of course Joanna eagerly accepts and is once again immersed within the lives of the Bowers, hoping to earn more information about Vivian’s life before her suspected murder. The audience is introduced to the rest of the Bowers family: Julian Bowers (Wes Brown) who is connected to Joanna as her lover when they were younger, Vivian’s younger sister Mia (Ella Rae Peck), Vivian’s stepmother Sofia (Katherine LaNasa), and Vivian’s oldest brother Edward (Tate Donovan) who is resentful and suspicious of Joanna’s presence.

Before long, information about the Bowers family begins to surface.  The Bowers are worth ten million dollars and are currently being investigated for stock fraud.  The family company Bowers Pharmaceuticals is attempting to release a new revolutionary cancer drug called Lyritrol, but are struggling due to fatal side effects.  Vivian’s older brother Edward also has a dark and suspicious past:  he is attempting to have Vivian taken out of their father’s will, and he was also a suspect in a previous murder case.

The Bower’s family many secrets creates an ongoing suspicion and suspense that keeps the viewer on the edge of their seat. There is also an aspect of glitz and glamour that comes with the wealthy lifestyle of the Bower’s that is similar to the glamourous appeal of shows like Gossip Girl. Deception successfully mixes the action of stereotypical crime and homicide shows while having the dazzling lifestyle and plot twists of a typical drama.  Joanna’s love triangle with womanizer Julian and old friend Will has a romantic appeal without being predictable and cheesy. Her ever-changing love life adds drama and spice to the show while allowing her to discover new information about Vivian’s murder.

With many aspects of television that most crime shows lack, Deception manages to stand out from the rest. Joanna’s love life along with the glamourous mysteries of  the Bower’s family intrigues viewers and leaves them excitedly anticipating the next episode.  Deception is an unique show that is able to encompass the  great aspects of many television genres and should not be missed.