ABC's "Red Widow" premieres tonight on in a two-hour episode. Starring Radha Mitchell, the series tells the story of Marta Walraven, a housewife living happily with her husband and their three children. We find out pretty quickly that life isn't what it seems in their suburban life in San Fransisco. Marta's family lives a life of organized crime.
It's the family business that she wants no part of but circumstances keep her involved. When her brother, who is business partners with Marta's husband Evan, wants to expand against his partners wishes, he puts the entire family in danger; stealing a drug shipment from a ruthless and rival crime boss. As a result, Evan (who's been exporting drugs on the family's boat) is murdered in retaliation and Marta is forced to become actively involved. She must pay off her husband's debt by working for the rival crime boss.
Trying to find out who killed her husband and to protect her children, Marta is left with difficult choices. With her family and her husband's business partners under FBI investigation, Marta is pressured to bring the Bureau evidence against her family in exchange for justice in her husband's murder. Loyalty wins out and Marta is a natural, using resources that she didn't know she had to join the business.
What I liked:
- Another show centered around a female lead. There can never be enough on television as far as I'm concerned.
- Radha Mitchell is great at a tough woman who will do anything to protect her children. She has great chemistry with the entire cast and transitions easily from skilled shooter to loving mother and husband.
- It's nice to see familiar face Goran Visnjic (ER) as part of the cast.
- How "the life" affects the children is addressed in a realistic and terrifying way that hopefully plays strongly throughout the series.
- Based on the Dutch series "Penoza," the set up of the story is great.
- The San Francisco location is beautiful
What could have been better:
- A lot of time was spent on Marta's sister's wedding, a predictable organized crime local. It's been done so many times before, you now what is coming next before the scene even gets going.
- Would have liked to see more of Anson Mount, who plays Marta's husband Evan, in the pilot and throughout the series.
- Would have liked to have seen more of Marta's relationship with the kids before tragedy struck.
- Exactly why Marta must pay off the debt is unclear and a little far-fetched but maybe will be explained in more detail beyond the premiere.
"Red Widow" stars Radha Mitchell as Marta Walraven, Sterling Beaumon as Gabriel Walraven, Clifton Collins Jr. as FBI Agent James Ramos, Luke Goss as Luther, Suleka Mathew as Dina Tomlin, Erin Moriarty as Natalie Walraven, Jaime Ray Newman as Kat Castillo, Jakob Salvati as Boris Walraven, Lee Tergesen as Mike Tomlin, Wil Traval as Irwin Petrov, with Rade Serbedzija as Andrei Petrov and Goran Visnjic as Nicholae Schiller.
Check it out tonight at 9:00 a.m. on ABC and then Sundays at 10 p. m.
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