Saturday, July 23, 2011


Too bad about the lame ending. I loved "Harper's Island," the 13-part CBS network horror/thriller series, until the last two episodes.

It gets goofier and goofier. It's like they were juggling on stage and were dazzling the audience with so many balls in the air and then they turned and walked away, leaving the balls to go thud, thud, thud, on the ground.  


But there were always little things wrong. I never believed Henry as the killer. In fact, I never believed Henry. To be kind, he has a "very narrow range," as they say in Hollywood about someone who can't act. He always seems the same. I saw him in some other dopey TV show, about a spy, and he seems to be playing the same static character in both shows.

The story, on "Harper's Island," finally got lame, after nine or ten great episodes. It would have worked better if they had given more hints that John Wakefield had an accomplice. Several surprises would've worked better if they had been played for suspense.

Instead of having Wakefield suddenly appear as he escapes from jail, why not show him with the keys after he loosens the belts that bind him?

The show could have used superior position, or dramatic irony, so that we would know Wakefield had a friend and the characters would not know that. It would have been so much more suspenseful.

Having Henry tell people about what he has done is so lame, dramatically. Better to show that, first to us, the audience, and then to one character at a time. As it is, the big reveals were weak.

The big explanations were lame, too. Henry explaining to Trish why he is going to kill her is really weak. For me, anyway. And the flashbacks to childhood didn't work. All in all, it was a four-star series that fizzled at the end, I thought.

But it is hard to pay off a good thriller. Usually, the endings are weak. Too bad this ending was not anywhere near as strong as the beginning, which was superb.

The graveyard of thrillers is full of weak endings. Oh well, it's hard to be good all the time, as a writer friend of mine says.

BTW, the other actors range from good to great, especially Elaine Cassidy, who really has the chops. I hope she has a great career.

-- Roger

© Copyright 2011, Roger R. Angle

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