Take Me To The Pilots ’12: NBC’s ‘Infamous’ – by Daniel Fienberg
The Pitch: It’s “Dirty Sexy Revenge”
Quick Response: No. Really. “Dirty Sexy Revenge.” What if “Dirty Sexy Money” had begun with the murder of Samaire Armstrong’s character? [No loss there.] And what if Peter Krause’s character were a cop instead of a lawyer and an African-American woman instead of a man? And what if that interloper returned to the family not to keep them out of trouble, but to get one of them in very deep trouble indeed? What you’d get would be “Infamous.” NBC’s attempt to get in on the Eat the Rich zeitgeist is derivative at every turn, but it’s also yet another midseason drama that introduces plot twists at an almost astounding pace, with characters reversing course and changing their colors two or three times in the opening 44 minutes. Hmm… I used a “but” there as if being twisty were a compensation for being derivative. This is the kind of show that you instantly find yourself distrusting every frame because you know that the truth is like a bet on a roulette wheel: You might get a dose of adrenaline each time your number comes around, but until the ball stops bouncing, *nothing* is going to be the truth, so there’s no point in investing.
In an era where all too many “critics” have never seen a film or TV show they didn’t like, Daniel Fienberg’s approach is a breath of fresh air. He actually seems to be able to differentiate good from bad, and for that he gets 3 thumbs-ups from TVWriter™. (Why 3? Sorry, that’s our little secret.)
As for INFAMOUS, we have to be honest with you. Even if DF had loved it we probably wouldn’t watch. It’s just not our genre, you know? Now if it were funny…