The Catch on ABC
“Everything is an exploration of the characters and their growing network of relationships and interrelationships.” Allan Heinberg
By Valerie Milano
Pasadena, CA (The Hollywood Times) 3/10/17 – ABC premiered Season 2 of its primetime detective potboiler The Catch on Thursday in the 10:00 slot. The new season finds the producers pivoting away from detective dramedy to full on rom-com mode. It didn’t go so well. The show’s ratings fell dramatically from the same time last year to a worrying 0.8/3. Producer Allan Heinberg states that a case-per-week workload is too much of a strain on the writing cast; hence, the shift to romantic comedy. Great if you pine for the days of Hart to Hart and McMillan and Wife. However, for the demo ABC is shooting for, The Catch is very weak tea indeed.
Returning is Mireille Enos as Alice Vaughn, a Los Angeles-based private investigator who was targeted by con man Benjamin Jones (Peter Krause). In season two Benjamin has morphed into the con-man with a heart of gold after he takes the fall and goes to prison when Alice is wrongfully accused, Krause exudes smooth as glass sincerity and style. Too bad the producers and writers lost their collective nerve after season one and neutered his cruddy side.
The first episode is devoted mainly to plot reboot and character development. We now have T.R. Knight (Grey’s Anatomy) playing Alice’s loser brother, whose identity is hacked and is gifted with a mysterious three million dollar bank balance. Valerie – (Rose Rollins) as Alice’s business partner – tries to keep the computers turned on by romancing a hunky Federal agent who has shut down her agency and impounded her agency’s computers. Danger and underworld menace comes courtesy of ruthless, alpha-blond crime boss Margo (Sonya Walger) whose declining control of her crime syndicate requires her to seek the services of Alice.
Lot’s of sex and murder litter the plotlines of The Catch, but it’s mostly inferred with precious little meat on the bone remaining from Season One. Too tame and lightweight for the likes of FX or HBO; the producers and writers of The Catch have given us the lo-cal version of the show that earned them a season two, but now promises an inauspicious exit from the primetime lineup and a permanent place in the pantheon of TV’s great second-season flame-outs.
THT the TCA and others recently had the opportunity to speak with Mireille Enos, Peter Krause, Rose Rollins, Sonya Walger, Elvy Yost, Jay Hayden, John Simm, Gina Torres, and executive producer Allan Heinberg. (Clip shown.)
“Allan Heinberg explained the shift in focus from detective drama to romantic comedy in season two: ALLAN HEINBERG: The biggest thing for me, and for all of us, was the case work at AVI was really challenging. I felt we were sort of taking a little bit finding out what the show was as we went, as you do in a first year show, but especially one with a history like ours. I felt like I owed the network and the audience a case of the week every week on the AVI side of things. And they were really hard to break every week in the writers’ room, and they took up an enormous amount of real estate room in the script. And I was realizing these cases were not allowing me to spend as much time getting to know the characters as I wanted to.”
Sonya Walger spoke about the development of her character Margo: SONYA WALGER: “I think she’s so fun. When I can make a psychopath humane, that’s always good. It’s all Allan’s writing. It’s really, really fun to play someone who is you know, who wields a gun, and answers to no one, really, and sleeps with men, women, and beast, as far as I’m concerned; and just has this huge arena to play in. There’s something playful, I think, about her malevolence that makes her really, really fun to play.”
Peter Krause talked about the shift in his character from season one: PETER KRAUSE: “I think that he (Ben) was well described last season as a “gentleman bandit,” who happened to fall in love with his mark, and so change has to occur afterwards. I don’t know what we’re allowed to say about what’s upcoming, but you find these two certainly dabbling in different areas of how things are done, the legitimate way and the illegitimate way, and those lines start to get blurred from these two.”