Since The Catch is executive produced by Shonda Rhimes – creator of hit shows Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal and How To Get Away With Murder – the series naturally centres on a professional superwoman who looks perfect in every way but leads a very complicated life, especially when it comes to love.
It has a clever hook: Alice Vaughan, a private investigator who specialises in fraud cases, learns too late that she is a victim of fraud too – a deception that almost costs her company everything, from its finances to its rich clients. There are personal losses too, because Alice loses the man she thought was going to be her husband, when he turns out to be a con artist.
Like any woman scorned, Alice understandably wants to unleash hell on him.
All this should make The Catch an interesting show, right? Erm, not really. Actually, scratch that. The answer, frankly, is that it isn’t interesting at all.
Having watched Mireille Enos play an intelligent, intense police detective in four seasons of The Killing, it is disheartening to see her play a character with neither intelligence nor intensity in The Catch.
Sure, she looks ever so beautiful in numerous gorgeous outfits and those killer heels (something that was seriously lacking in The Killing where her character perpetually wore running pants, oversize sweaters, and running shoes), but what is the point of looking so good when she gets fooled left, right and centre? And by men, no less … in this day and TV age when it’s all about female empowerment on the small screen.
We get that Alice getting conned by Christopher (Peter Krause) happened because that is the show’s launch pad, after all. But isn’t she supposed to rise above and catch him, or whatever? Isn’t it, like, her job? Isn’t that what the title refers to? Apparently not.
When an FBI agent arrives to work with Alice in apprehending Christopher, she doesn’t want to help him because it would be bad for her business. So the agent bugs her house… and there we see Alice inside her place, looking smug like she just pulled one over on the agent.
At one point Alice figures out a way to track Christopher down (good for her). But when she gets a hot lead, what does she do? She decides to sit down and have a conversation with the FBI agent. Really? This tactic of stretching out already flimsy plotting wore my patience thin all too quickly.
But things can only get worse, it seems. In the fifth episode, Alice falls into the arms of Christopher once again. Why? Because, he confessed to her that he has fallen for her for real and it wasn’t a con at all …. Aww. One “I love you” and she’s already tearing up and putting aside all thoughts of revenge.
Undeniably, love can make one do strange things. However in Shondaland, love is the ultimate stupid pill.
What’s even more baffling is that there is no chemistry between Enos and Krause (who looks dull in each and every scene). Even during flashbacks when Alice and Christopher were supposed to be blissfully in love, the temperature does not go above lukewarm. There is more chemistry between the two supporting characters played by Jay Hayden and Elvy Yost than these two.
There are other annoying female characters apart from Alice: The Catch is filled to the brim with them. Her partner (Rose Rollins) doesn’t have a single likeable bone in her body. She tries to stand on high moral ground in heels, alternating between spouting harsh things about her cheating husband or telling Alice that she only wants the best for her.
To put it eloquently, bleurgh. How these two managed to build up a successful, high-profile investigative firm is the biggest mystery here.
Another woman character, Christopher’s fellow con artist Margot Bishop (Sonya Walger), is such a snob that you wish she would stumble into an open manhole and never be seen again.
Sometime during the early episodes too, the series introduced a princess from the Middle East – a young woman who covers her hair but not her arms and calves. Sorry, The Catch writers, but you have female Muslim fashion totally wrong. But that is the least of the problems with this character and the subplot revolving around her.
With so many unappealing characters on the show, you hope that the plotting would at least be better. Unfortunately, the story – which is split between Alice’s weekly cases and Christopher’s con games – does not hold interest.
The Catch tries to be smart with its fancy camerawork and flashy colour palette, but it doesn’t really help to improve the show.
The series also frequently relies on the ever-dependable trick of inserting an appropriate song to make a scene more impactful. However, where a show like The Good Wife makes ingenious use of this device, The Catch fails miserably.
Now I remember why I gave up on Grey’s Anatomy after one season, How To Get Away With Murder after three episodes and Scandal after one episode. These women are just not relatable … at all.