The Horror Honeys: 'Wicked City' is Less Wicked and More... Whiney.

'Wicked City' is Less Wicked and More... Whiney.

A Revenge Honey Pilot Review by Linnie



Wicked City (2015-)

When I first caught the trailer for ABC's Wicked City during an episode of Scandal, I was intrigued. A pair of lonely-hearts serial killers on a murder spree during the 80s on the Sunset Strip? The best music from 1982? Jeremy Sisto? How could ANY of that go wrong?

Well...

The Story: A serial killer, known as the Hillside Strangler, has been killing young women in gruesome ways shortly after having songs dedicated to them on the radio. Obviously, this charismatic lothario is Kent Grainger (Ed Westwick), just your average good guy neighbor during the day. And clearly, he meets Betty Beaumontaine (Ericka Christensen), a single mom and hardworking nurse with a dark side who is just too special for him to kill. And DUH, there is a complicated detective working the case, Jack Roth (Jeremy Sisto), an expert on serial killers who's expertise seems to reside solely in cliches like "his mommy didn't hug him enough." Will Jack catch Betty and Kent? Will ANY of the original Whisky A-Go-Go musicians show up for a shot and a beer? And... man. I'm the one writing this and I'm already bored.

Right out of the gate, Wicked City has two major cards stacked against it. First, it was released just a month and some change after this...


Comedy Central's Moonbeam City is meant to be a heavy parody of 80s cop shows such as Miami Vice and it's positively hilarious. But here is the problem: Wicked City feels like a parody of 80s cop shows that isn't clever enough to be in on the joke. Shiny red jackets, bright lights (big city), cop cliches... Wicked City aims to be sharp and progressive, but really it's just the same old muddled cliches about killers and cops and Los Angeles in the 80s that we've been seeing since, well, the 80s. As I watched Wicked City, I kept thinking about Moonbeam City, and how I'd rather be watching that.

Yes, I put one photo on top of the other. But that is ALL I did.
The second major problem with Wicked City is that the whole works relies on whether or not Ed Westwick is believably charming enough to be a charismatic psychopath serial killer. And he's not. Yes, this is a decade and a place where everyone was scrambling for any leg up in the industry, but there is something so inherently skeezy about the way that Westwick carries himself, it's hard to believe even the most naïve small town girl livin' in a lonely world would fall for his lines. Follow that up with even more tired cliches involving Christensen's single mom and her desperation level, and I was left with several epic eye rolls, many of which didn't even fully register for an hour after the credits ran.

You would NEVER get in a bar. Even in the 80s. NEVER.
To follow our Horror TV Honey Lisa's lead, I will draw your attention to one good thing about Wicked City... the music is fucking stellar. Especially if you love 80s music with a bit of a harder edge. HOWEVER, and that's a big however for a reason, the use of specific songs is so cloyingly tailored to every scene ("Dancing with Myself," "Tainted Love," "Crimson and Clover," "Heartbreaker..." I FUCKING GET IT, OKAY?!) that I found myself quickly annoyed with even some of my favorite tracks.

You. I don't think I like you.
I intend to give Wicked City my standard three episode grace period, but as it stands, it's not looking good for me sticking this one out.

Sorry, Jeremy.

Sorry not sorry, Ed.
Revenge Honey Rating: 2 "redheads really get shat on in this show" out of 5

Did you watch Wicked City? What did you think?
Tell me on Twitter: @linnieloowho