See, I told you this week’s victim interview would be posted in a timely fashion.
If you’ve been watching “Harper’s Island” all along, then this was probably the least surprising death of the series to date. It’s not that you necessarily saw it coming this week, per se; it’s simply that, due to an event in an earlier episode, you sensed that the character had been living on borrowed time, anyway. And while I don’t want to say that I’d actually been rooting for that time to run out, I have to admit that this was an interview I’d been looking forward to, due to the other credits found within this person’s IMDb listing…one of which will be returning to the airwaves next month.
Oh, but I’ve said too much. Let’s move onward before I give away anything else…
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First off, my apologies for the delay in getting this week’s interview onto the site, though in my defense, today is the earliest it possibly could have gotten up. Saturday night’s victim was out of town on Monday, which is now my new day to do the Victim of the Week interviews, so our conversation had to be bumped to Wednesday instead.
On a related note, please be aware that there will be no interview next week. Why? Because there’s no episode of “Harper’s Island” this Saturday. And why isn’t there one? Because CBS is opting instead to show a rerun of “The Mentalist.” As for why they’re doing such a thing, your guess is as good as mine. I can’t imagine I’m the only person mystified by the maneuver. I mean, presumably, it’s a way to gauge if the “Harper’s Island” fans who’ve followed the show to Saturdays and aren’t watching it on DVR or TiVo will come back if they skip a week, but, damn, come on, CBS, you’ve already annoyed us by shifting it to the weekend. Can’t you at least just run the remaining episodes uninterrupted? Surely we deserve that much.
And just one last thing before we get to our interview: when the show does return, the Victim of the Week interview won’t happen on the following Monday, because that’s Memorial Day Weekend. It will instead take place on Tuesday…and since I’ll be out of town on Tuesday, it remains to be seen if I’ll even be able to do it.
Damn. “Harper’s Island” fans just can’t catch a break…
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So who remembered to tune in to the show on Saturday night this week? If you were confused on Thursday night when you flipped over to CBS after “30 Rock” to find something other than “Harper’s Island,” then you must not have gotten the briefing about the network’s decision to give up on the series on Thursday nights and movie it into one of their Saturday night death slots. It’s not exactly as optimistic a move as the official CBS press release on the matter would have you believe, but as this week’s victim observes, it’s at least going to prove to be an interesting experiment, particularly if the show’s DVR / TiVo ratings stay strong nonetheless.
Speaking of that victim, let’s check in with the poor soul and see how they feel about the way they met their demise, which was, in its own way, as surprising as anything we’ve seen thus far on the series.
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Another week, another victim on “Harper’s Island.” As usual, we won’t spoil the person’s identity for those who haven’t watched the episode yet, but, man, you should’ve seen the look on their face right before they got what was coming to them. And if you didn’t see it…well, it’s a little late now. (You’ll have to watch the episode to understand why that’s funny.)
Let’s head on over to the interview, shall we…?
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** WARNING: FIRST EPISODE “HARPER’S ISLAND” SPOILERS AHEAD **
There are/were a few reasons to be optimistic about CBS’s 13-part miniseries: 1) the premise — 13 episodes with one character dying each week until the murderer is revealed, 2) it has a good look and feel to it, and 3) it has an end date.
As I was watching the premiere, I was amazed by the utter lack of familiar faces. Anytime Harry Hamlin is the most famous actor on a series, it can’t be a good sign. (No offense, Harry. I do like your work, but you’re just not the carry-a-series type anymore. By the way, see Will Harris’ interview with Hamlin here.) I watch a lot of TV, and other than Hamlin, I only recognized three faces — Chris Gauthier (Vincent from “Eureka”), Richard Burgi (Karl from “Desperate Housewives”) and Jim Beaver (Uncle Bobby from “Supernatural”) — and I think it’s safe to say that each of these actors play supporting characters on those other series. This lack of “name” talent tells me one of two things: 1) they couldn’t cast the actors they wanted, or 2) they purposefully went with relatively unknown talent to keep everyone guessing. (One of the best ways to solve a television mystery is to see if there are any recognizable guest stars in the cast. If so, there’s a good chance that you’ve found your killer. For that reason, Hamlin’s casting and subsequent murder did surprise.)
One of the other problems with the premiere is that it really didn’t grab me. CBS put together a solid promo campaign for the series, but the first episode just didn’t live up to the hype. For one, the characters really didn’t make much of an impact. Even after watching each actress in a few scenes, I’m still not sure if I could pick the bride or the bride’s sister out of a lineup. Secondly, save for maybe Abby Mills (the groom’s best friend whose mother died in murders years ago), there really isn’t anyone to root for. I realize that they need to keep things close to the vest, but would it hurt to have two or three protagonists to cheer for?
I’m pretty sure that I’m going to save myself 12 hours and just check the “Harper’s Island” wiki page in a few months and see what happened. There is just too much good television on right now (and my Netflix queue is getting pretty backed up). Besides, other than the occasional comedy and “The Unit,” it seems anytime I start watching a CBS series, it just doesn’t end well.