‘Red Widow’ runs redundant with ongoing revenge emphasis

March 11, 2013

April Wefler
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Revenge is a dish worst served repetitively, as proven by ABC’s latest drama, “Red Widow.”

Airing on Sunday, the same night that usually shows Amanda Clarke’s revenge against the Graysons on “Revenge,” it seems as if ABC decided to take the popularity of the previous show and use it to create a wannabe.

The pilot for “Red Widow,” which aired March 3 as part of the two-hour season premiere, begins slowly. Loud, ominous music plays while a man sneaks around, intent on tracking someone down.

When the man does find the person he’s looking for, he knocks him down and holds a gun to him. The other man says, “You’re crazy. No one steals from Schiller. You walk away; maybe he kills just you. You do this, your whole family’s dead.”

This might have been interesting had the episode not dragged on in the first several minutes alone.

Ignoring his words, the first man kills the other and drives off. The episode then transitions to a woman on a bicycle, in a pleasant setting with pleasant music – a drastic change from the previous scene.

This is followed by a scene of the first man and his family preparing for their day. The audience sees that the bicyclist is the killer’s wife.

Next scene: The two older children walk off to school, while the youngest son, Boris (Jakob Salvati), climbs into his father’s car and steals his gun.

This is followed by a scene of his mother, Marta (Radha Mitchell), walking into a bridal shop and greeting her mother and sister.

The show cuts back to Boris, this time at school. He marches up to confront a bully who had taken his headphones a week before.

Rather than give the headphones back, the bully repeatedly calls Boris “Doris,” much to Boris’ chagrin. In return, Boris pulls a gun on the kid.

Boris is called into the principal’s office and Marta shows up. The principal explains the trouble Boris is in and Marta asks why the bully isn’t in trouble.

This makes it seem as if she is condoning her son bringing a gun to school – a scene that seems entirely inappropriate a mere two and a half months after Sandy Hook.

Confused yet?

It gets worse. The audience discovers Marta comes from what seems to be a Russian mob family and that her husband, Evan (Anson Mount), has become involved in the family business.

“I will protect my children at any cost, and if you don’t get out now, I will take the kids and I will leave you,” Marta tells him.

Later in the episode, Marta and Evan discuss him leaving the business. While Evan tries to explain how difficult it is, Marta simply shrugs it off. “What are you talking about? We’ll just get out.”

Shouldn’t the woman who supposedly grew up in this mob family know better than to think that getting out of the business will be easy?

In a flashback, Marta’s father, Andrei Petrov (Rade Serbedzija), performs Right Said Fred’s “I’m Too Sexy” at his daughter’s wedding.

Rather than being a nice comedic break in the show, the scene seems more like it was thrown in there simply because Serbedzija felt like performing.

Oh, but in order to have a show labeled “Red Widow,” Evan must die. After a pleasant family scene, Evan and Boris go outside.

Shots are heard, Marta runs outside in slow motion, and Evan is dead. A lot of screaming ensues, screaming and more screaming before the show cuts to commercial.

The show continues, showing Marta’s grief and how her revenge starts, but by this time the show has lost its audience’s attention.

“Red Widow” is disappointing. Not only is it redundant, but it barely holds interest and doesn’t know where it wants to go, which is confusing.

There are far too many continuity errors for a strong pilot, such as Marta’s naivety with the business she is said to have grown up in.