L.A.’s Sunset Strip was where people went to see and be seen in the early 1980s — but the glitz and glamour had a dark side, which is the backdrop for the first season of ABC’s gritty new crime anthology, Wicked City. The series will focus on a new case in a different era each season, but will remain in L.A., “a place where people are slightly blinded by their own ambition [which] makes for an easier world for nefarious characters to operate within,” explains Jeremy Sisto (Suburgatory), who plays detective Jack Roth on the series.
Season 1 revolves around a grisly 1982 murder. Kent Grainger (Ed Westwick, Gossip Girl) is a ladykiller — in the most literal sense of the word. Using his charms to lure ambitious young women to their deaths, he meets Betty Beaumontaine (Erika Christensen, Parenthood), who becomes the Bonnie to his Clyde. In the murder capital of the country, the pressure is on Detective Roth and his partner, Paco Contreras (Gabriel Luna, El Rey Network’s Matador), to catch the killers — with the help of Karen, an ambitious young journalist (Taissa Farmiga, American Horror Story).
With a fantastic soundtrack and gripping plot, the show looks to be a promising addition to the fall schedule. Of course, there’s violence, but that’s not the show’s main focus; in fact, Wicked City has the potential for really rich character development, not just for the detectives but also the criminals. Says showrunner Amy B. Harris, it is really “about looking at a world and a time in L.A., and it’s not just about the murders. But the murders are how we sort of open up our world and look at these people in general.” The show’s creator Steven Baigelman adds, “in a lot of ways, all of these characters are looking for love and recognition and family … that’s a big theme that runs through this show.”
Wicked City premieres Tuesday, Oct. 27 at 10pm ET/9pm CT on ABC.
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