'Deception' Debuts Tonight On NBC; Show Creators See No Need To Call Attention To Race

Television
by Tambay A. Obenson
January 7, 2013 11:07 AM
11 Comments
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“I guess the way it all shook out, (the ethnicity of [Meagan] Good and [Laz] Alonso) is a way of sort of dealing with race without actually having to talk about it... But it’s not something we really talk about too much in the writers room…I just think it is sort of there. I’m not sure what we could put in the characters’ mouths that would speak louder than the fact of what you’re looking at on-screen.”

Words from Deception showrunner Liz Heldens at TCA over the weekend, adding that, according to Deadline, that the show wasn't written specifically with black actors/characters in mind, but that when Meagan Good auditioned for the part initially, "she just walked in and owned it. It was fantastic."

She also described it as a TV hybrid of Donnie Brasco and Sabrina, saying that season 1 would reveal to the audience who the killer is, and season 2 (I guess they're optimistic it'll be renewed for a second season) will be about Good's character, who believes she knows who the killer is, proving it.

Part of NBC's mid-season debuts, Deception (initially titled Notorious, and then switched to Infamous, and now will be called Deception), is scheduled to make its TV broadcast premiere TONIGHTJanuary 72013, during the 10pm - 11pm hour.

Deception stars Meagan Good as detective Joanna Locasto, a female detective who returns to work undercover investigating the wealthy family she grew up with - as the maid's daughter - to solve the murder of the notorious heiress who was once her closest friend - celebutante Vivian Lawson.

The NBC series co-stars Laz AlonsoVictor Garber, Tate Donovan, and Katherine LaNasa co-starring.

Laz Alonso plays NYPD detective Will Sacovitch, who recruits Good's character, his former flame, to team up and infiltrate the Lawson home - led by Victor Garber as Robert Lawson, and Tate Donovan as his son.

The full pilot episode has been on NBC's website for about 3 weeks now; we posted it here last month, so I'm sure some of you watched it.

I certainly did eventually. And I'm sorry to say that I wasn't at all hooked; not even a little bit. It really does play like a traditional soap opera, but non of the suspense and intrigue were suspenseful nor intriguing enough for me. BUT, as is custom for me, I plan to watch the first 3 episodes, and hope that the next 2 impress me more than the pilot did - at least, enough that I'll want to continue watching for the rest of the season. 

I'm probably not in the show's target audience anyway, so that could certainly have something to do with it. But I'm hopeful for the sake of the actors, at least, that it finds its audience, even if I myself, am not particularly drawn to it.

If you watched the pilot episode already, feel free to chime in - especially if you liked it. 

The rest of you can tune in tonight at 10pm on NBC. Or, you can watch it below:

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11 Comments

  • Tia | January 13, 2013 7:21 PMReply

    I’m sorry to hear that you didn’t particularly care for Deception. I thought it started out a bit slow, but with a good premise and the potential to improve in the next few episodes. I plan to tune in next week, for sure. I won’t be able to watch the show live because I work evenings at DISH, but my DVR will save the show. I have the DISH Hopper, which is set to auto-record the primetime shows on the four major networks (including Deception) using PrimeTime Anytime, so it will be easy for me to watch the show even if I forget to set a timer.

  • Tamara | January 8, 2013 10:35 AMReply

    I liked it. It reminded me of VC Andrews in a sense when dealing with old money families and dark secrets. In agreement with AFRICAMELEON in that Meagan's character's past (even as the daughter of "the help") anchors her to this family, to this great mystery, to the unsolvable murder(s) of this family. And as I said on my Twitter, it feels like an ABC show though it is playing on NBC. I hope it lasts and I hope it gets better with the writing. They need to build upon what's been established and hinted at thus far. Not only does this family have history but so do Meagan's character (her mother and alzheimer's withering away in a sanatorium) as well as Meagan and Alonzo's character and their "crime-fighting" history together and apart. I'll give it a chance. Not gonna hate on this.

  • Africameleon | January 8, 2013 12:08 AMReply

    I liked it, and Megan and Laz look great together on screen. Yes, the plot needs work but it peaked my interest. Also, her Mother may have been "the help" but she is a detective and Laz is an FBI/CIA agent. I'm definitely interested in how they're going to engage the class piece. And who knows, there may be more people of color on screen when we/if we are introduced to Megan's family... I hope, but that may be wishful thinking b/c we still don't know where Olivia Pope "came from." But, I am interested and I'll watch to be entertained and to support Megan and Laz. Plus, in this show the daughter of "the help" is anchoring the show. There had to be a catalyst to start off the series, so lets see if the actors can sustain it into something better.

  • Bee | January 7, 2013 11:45 PMReply

    I'm sorry, but this show is even worse than Scandal. I'm just so done with tv shows. All of it is enough to make a person gag. As if it wasn't bad enough that we have a successful black woman acting as the (white) president's side piece, now we have a successful black woman who used to be the daughter of the help who re-immerses herself in the lives of these filthy rich white people (who don't like her or even want her there) to help these people (and to help some dead "best friend" who didn't seem to care about her very much either). Say what? No, I'll pass.

  • EG | January 20, 2013 1:06 AM

    I love Scandal and so hope Deception is successful even though i didn't like the first episode. It was too slow for me but i will continue to give a chance. You know what black people complain about EVERYTHING you finally have shows with Black woman as leads and some of you complain about the characters they play. That's why many tv shows shy away from giving african americans leads -they are never satisfied. I like the fact that meghan's character is not your stereotype black girl, or that Olivia is flawed in her personal life it makes them much more real. I can never for the life of me understand why black woman always have to play parts that specifically has them as STRONG BLACK MAMMIES... or ghetto neck rolling idiots...it's played out... I enjoy shows such as Good Wife, Homeland, and back in the day Sex in the City...but those shows are colorless. It amazes me that majority of black folks will overwhelmingly support trash like Housewives, Basketball wives, or Love and Hip Hop but have a problem with well scripted dramas. I feel it's important for writers to write for actresses that happened to black and not for black actresses that's the only way change will happen on TV. So I wish Megan and her show the best of luck.

  • Charles Judson | January 8, 2013 12:32 AM

    So it matters not that the creators didn't...wait...my reply won't make a damn bit of difference. Continue on.

  • Bee | January 7, 2013 11:46 PM

    And, yes, I watched the pilot on the website a couple of weeks ago. Crap, just as I expected.

  • Black Like Me | January 7, 2013 3:43 PMReply

    A black woman surrounded by white people and only one other character of Color- whose sole purpose is, as the former daughter of the help, spend her energy dealing with their drama. No thank you; not interested.

  • Bee | January 7, 2013 11:46 PM

    I agree.

  • tiffanie | January 7, 2013 12:45 PMReply

    I like murder mysteries so I liked it. Plus it has a great cast. I wish some would quit giving it poor reviews after just 1 episode and give it a chance.

  • Rem | January 7, 2013 11:51 AMReply

    It has potential! ...I really hope this works out for the both of them the way Scandal did for Kerry!....I'm gonna support because we need good shows with leading Black actors on it...Hopefully NBC do this show right!

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