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Series debut: Harper’s Island

In series debut, television on 04/09/2009 at 8:27 am

Series name
Harper’s Island

Debuts
Thursday, April 9, 10 p.m. ET on Global and CBS

Regularly airs
Thursdays, 10 p.m. ET on Global and CBS

Premise
As the press kit says: “13 weeks, 25 suspects, one killer.” Say. No. More. Okay, maybe just a little. A week-long wedding party on an island brings a young woman back to the home town she fled after a series of murders seven years previous.

Primary cast and crew (Pin this to your fridge! Strike off each week’s victim!)
Elaine Cassidy (The Bay of Love and Sorrows) is Abby, who is returning home after seven years
Christopher Gorham (Ugly Betty) is Henry, the groom
Katie Cassidy (Supernatural) is Trish, the bride
Cameron Richardson (12 Miles of Bad Road, Entourage) is Chloe. Meow.
C.J. Thomason (Transformers, General Hospital) is Jimmy, Abby’s old flame.
Amber Borycki (The L Word) is Beth, the “single girl”
Richard Burgi (Desperate Housewives) is Thomas, father of the bride
Dean Chekvala (guesting on ER, Without a Trace, NCIS) is J.D., “the black sheep”
Ben Cotton (Stargate: Atlantis) is Shane, the “townie”
Beverley Elliott (Godiva’s) is Maggie, the wedding planner
Chris Gauthier (Eureka) is Malcolm, the “hustler”
Harry Hamlin (L.A. Law) is “Uncle Marty”
Gina Holden (Flash Gordon, Smallville) is Shea, the maid of honour
David Lewis (Smallville, The Guard) is Richard, the brother in law
Ali Liebert (Kyle XY, Psych) is Nikki, the “biker chick”
Brandon Jay McLaren (The Best Years, Smallville) is Danny, the college buddy
Claudette Mink (The Guard) is Katherine, the stepmother
Sean Rogerson (Stargate: Atlantis) is Joel, the nerd
Anna Mae Routledge (Supernatural, The Guard) is Kelly, the outcast
Cassandra Sawtell (Psych, Smallville) is Madison, the flower girl
Sarah Smyth (Smallville, Durham County) is Lucy, the socialite
Jim Beaver (Supernatural, John from Cincinnati) is the Sherrif
Matt Barr (Gossip Girl, One Tree Hill) is Sully, the best man
Victor Webster (Lincolm Heights) is Hunter, the other man
Adam Campbell (Epic Movie) is Cal, the outsider
Jon Turtletaub (Jericho, National Treasure) is the exec producer

Trailer

But what do I know anyway? After actually having seen the pilot …
I have read many super negative reviews of this murder-a-week television “event”. But, seriously people. If anything about the gaggingly thorough promotion for this slasher says Quality TV to you, you are fragmenting your attention way too much with all the Twitter and the Facebook and the this and the that. Yes, each and every wedding guest and participant is packing a suitcase full of horror movie cliches. There are lingering shots of fish guts on knives, guns in drawers, pills washed down with champagne, a creepy cabbie’s eye patch, horrifically embarrassing family drama, a pool-cue duel at the bar … But embrace the fun, wouldja? If by fun you are willing to embrace a pretty, light horror flick x 13 episodes. And, for starters, a death by propeller (mostly off-screen). So, yes, it’s a bit gory. Not for the kiddies or the shrieky among us. For the rest of us ghouls who need a laugh and enjoy a bit of a Boo!

Other reviews
The Globe and Mail’s John Doyle haaaaaates this show.

Daniel Carlson of The Hollywood Review allows that “If Harper’s Island were a self-aware spoof of the horror genre, it would be amazing — like Shaun of the Dead-level good. But the problem with CBS’ new horror-mystery-soap mash-up is that it’s completely earnest in its awfulness.” Geez.

Official websites:
CBS’s website invites you to play the Pick the Victim game. Watch an interview with producer Turtletaub — whoops, unavailable for viewing for us Canadian, second-class web citizens.

Harper’s Globe is the web arm of the series, in which someone named Robin keeps a video diary of her new job documenting the history of the island. I found it annoying, but then I’m far from the target age group, which I’d put in the teens and 20s.

Global’s site has links to Harper’s Globe, decent selection of photo galleries and character sketches, as well as the option to watch the TV episodes online after broadcast.

Wondering when the other new series and returning series are kicking off?
Click here for the complete and updated list of mid-season premieres and other important dates. Who am I to tell you what to do, but you could consider bookmarking it…

— Denise Duguay

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