Friday, July 06, 2007

Hidden Palms

I'm surprised to be saying this, but I think I will sort of miss this show, which aired its final episode on the CW Wednesday night (July 4, when no one was watching TV). It started off rather unpromisingly, and in my initial review (based on a screener of the first two episodes) I said it seemed like a weak Dawson's Creek rip-off, and sort of dismissed the dark mystery elements. Well, over the course of the eight episodes, the similarities to Dawson's Creek greatly diminished, and the dark mystery elements pretty much took over the show. By the fourth episode or so, it descended into totally ridiculous camp, with characters sleeping with each other left and right, ridiculous murder plots and all that good soapy stuff, and suddenly it became fairly entertaining in a trashy way.

I had almost given up at that point, but I'm glad I stuck around, especially for some of the juicy performances. Michael Cassidy was entertaining from the start as the sociopathic Cliff, but he really shined when paired with Valerie Cruz as Maria, who was wonderfully soap-opera nuts, and quite hilarious. Props also to the always-reliable Sharon Lawrence, doing her cougar-with-a-Southern-accent thing, and the amusing Leslie Jordan as drag queen Jessie Jo.

The last episode rushed to resolve all the storylines in an especially ludicrous manner, and I'm not sure how the show would have handled them had it gone on longer (would the central mystery have been dragged out over a whole season, or would they have moved on to a new one?). We'll never find out now, and that's not really a travesty, but there hasn't been a good nighttime soap in a while, and this one was at least starting to show some potential.

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