ShondaLand, a TV production company founded by writer and producer Shonda Rhimes, is on a hot streak. With hit shows such as “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Scandal,” and “How To Get Away With Murder,” the production company seems to have figured out the perfect algorithm for creating sexy, suspenseful shows that draw in millions of viewers each week. Unfortunately, ShondaLand’s new show, “The Catch,” does not quite measure up to the programs that preceded it. While flashy and action-packed, the show lacks a clear, riveting story.
“The Catch,” which premiered on Thursday, March 24, is about Alice Vaughan, a private investigator for a successful firm whose high-tech, glass office strongly resembles the lair of a wealthy Bond villain. While the show never fully explains what Alice does, it is implied that she protects the assets of her wealthy clients and prevents thieves from stealing their property. Alice’s main adversary is the mysterious Mr. X, who stole millions of dollars from her clients and enjoys playing cat and mouse with the firm. In her private life, Alice is about to be married to the mysterious Christopher Hall. Alice’s world comes crashing down one day when Christopher disappears without a trace, leading her to the conclusion that he is, in fact, Mr. X. The rest of the episode has Alice running around, tearfully yet angrily trying to find the man who ruined her life.
The plot line of “The Catch” offers nothing new, and is in fact very similar to movies such as “Mr. and Mrs. Smith,” and “Catch Me If You Can.” The sequence of events is predictable from the start. The added twist of Christopher falling for his target, Alice, is found in every rom-com movie: the guy who takes a girl out for a bet realizes he was actually in love with her the whole time.
Much like previous ShondaLand shows, “The Catch” is fast paced. Unfortunately, it could be too much to handle at some points. In one particular scene, a deal goes down between Hall and a tech employee, in which money is exchanged for a phone full of information. Meanwhile, Alice is trying to catch Mr. X before the exchange takes place. The scene is full of sharp cuts and transitions. While this does create an atmosphere of suspense, it also makes the audience dizzy as they go into sensory overload to the tune of a terrible Pitbull song.
ShondaLand shows are known for being sexy and this one does not disappoint in that area. Full of sultry glances, intimate conversations, graphic sex scenes and tight fitted dresses, “The Catch” oozes sex appeal. And while this is to be expected from these types of shows, it can often be a vapid distraction, as though the show uses sex to lure in audiences for the first look, but leaves substantial plot development untouched. ABC’s new show may have glitz and glamour, but it didn’t have a promising start.
“The Catch” airs Thursdays at 10 p.m. on ABC.
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