TV Review - Wicked City

After three episodes, ABC cancelled this series. I'm not sure it was as bad as most critics said it was, but it certainly was not good. For starters, the show has come too late. A couple of years ago, there was an abundance of TV shows that followed serial killers. They included Dexter, The Following and Hannibal. All those shows have been cancelled. Maybe the makers of this show thought they were filling a void, but maybe rightfully those shows ended because the culture has had enough of them.

Ed Westwick stars as Kent Galloway, the serial killer whose modus operandi is seducing young girls from a club or bar, luring them into his car, driving them to a secluded location and then stabbing them to death while they're giving him oral sex. When he's not doing that, it's not clear what else he does in terms of work or sustaining himself financially. It's not shown but maybe he spends his free time cleaning because all the violent murders he commits in his car, one would think it would leave a lot of blood stains all over.

Erika Christensen co-stars as Betty Beaumontaine, a nurse or something who is a single mother of two children. She apparently has a secret, sadistic streak. She kills a spider after telling her kids to do no harm. She meets Kent and is almost one of his victims, but he spares her possibly because she has children.

Yet, there's no logic as to why he spares her for that reason. Is it empathy? Or, is it something else? Kent decides to mold her instead into a companion for his murders. He makes her an accomplice, but why and what makes him think it'll work? The writers don't allow us into Kent's head and help us to understand his thought process. He simply does whatever the plot dictates.

The series takes place in the 1980's or some time in the past, which makes it difficult for the police to catch him. Jeremy Sisto (Six Feet Under and Suburgatory) also co-stars as Jack Roth, the police detective trying to find and arrest the serial killer, but he's given the run around. Taissa Farmiga plays a weak-stomach reporter and Evan Ross plays a stronger-stomach photographer who stupidly gets pulled into the plot.

The intended, 10-episode anthology was cut short and could have been an interesting look on how sadism can be transferred or inspired in others who aren't straight out crazy as was the case in The Following. The series, as it began, didn't lay down good groundwork. It wanted to revel more in the luridness than present anything logical.

There have been some stories about dual criminals, male and female, who team to commit murders. Those are better than this. Bonnie and Clyde (1967), Badlands (1973), Kalifornia (1993) and Natural Born Killers (1994) are some examples.

One Star out of Five.
Rated TV-14-VLSD.
Running Time: 1 hr.
Tuesdays at 10PM on ABC, cancelled.


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