Friday, October 7, 2011

Horror on TV - New Shows (Part 1)

Bedlam (2011):  What would you do with a dilapidated insane asylum?  Why, turn it into an apartment complex and name it Bedlam Estates, of course.  From our friends across the pond, this new show revolves around a group of pretty, young people living together in said complex.  Kate Bettany (Charlotte Salt) is the daughter of owner Warren Bettany (Hugo Speer).  I think she's supposed to be a manager or something.  Her roommates are unemployed free-spirit Molly Lucas (Ashley Madekwe) and techie metro-sexual Ryan McAllister (Will Young).  Their cohabitative harmony is disrupted by the arrival of Kate's hunky cousin-via-adoption Jed Harper (Theo James) who was recently released from a functional asylum.  He was there because he sees dead people.  Still with me?  Okay. 

The show starts with Jed hitchhiking.  A guy picks him up, talks about how he's going to meet his wife.  Jed eventually responds, tells the guy he's dead and that he and his wife died in a car accident.  Guy is understandably freaked but after a bit of a meltdown takes the hint and moves on.  Then Jed gets a text saying Kate is in danger, so off he goes to Bedlam (oddly, the car the ghost guy was driving is real).  Now, I feel I should mention here that Jed continues to get texts periodically that warn of danger.  So you don't beat your head against a wall, I'll tell you that we don't find out where the texts are coming from.  This tidbit is my gift to you. 

Anyway, it's Kate's birthday.  Dad Warren gives her an antique ring the workers found in a wall they were renovating.  (Dad's not exactly Pa Ingalls, in case you were wondering.)  Her friends are going to take her out.  Jed shows up all hero-like, busts in on Kate and Ryan smooching in the bathroom.  I know, I know...Will Young kissing a girl?  Weirded me out, too.  Ryan later thanks Jed for breaking in when he did (that's the Will I know).  Long story short, whoever's wearing that antique ring gets special attention from a pissed off ghost.  In the end, Jed saves Kate, confides in Ryan that he really does see dead people and how they died, and decides to stick around (mainly because when he leaves the building and is walking away, ghosts start appearing in all of the building's windows).  Sense of duty and all that, I suspect.  Those crazy Brits...

So how is it?  A little slow, if I'm honest, but pilots always are.  Need to set up the characters, get a foundation established, etc.  They did a good job there.  You get a handle on all of their personalities, if not their motivations.  I can't quite figure Kate out, though.  Very flaky and moody.  Not sure what's going on with her.  Is it scary?  Not really.  Not yet, anyway.  There are a few creepy bits with the ghost (a woman who was drowned in the basement of the asylum and lost her ring in the process) but that's about it.

The potential is there for Bedlam, and I have high hopes.  They just need to find the scary.  And blood.  Definitely needs more blood...

Bedlam is on Saturday nights on BBC America.

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