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post #1 of 22 Old 04-04-2019, 04:27 AM - Thread Starter
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"In the Dark" on The CW

In the Dark: This Is the Type of Show The CW Should Be Making More of
By Kaitlin Thomas, TVGuide.com - Apr. 3, 2019

As The CW prepares to say goodbye to its two Golden Globe-winning comedies, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend (the series finale airs Friday at 8/7c) and Jane the Virgin (the final season airs Wednesdays at 9/8c), many are wondering whether or not the young network, which found success on the back of any number of costumed superheroes, will be able to maintain the small amount of prestige pedigree it has found.

While it doesn't look like there will be a reprieve from the superheroics any time soon (Arrow will end next season after a shortened Season 8, but the network is already developing a Batwoman series to join its handful of other superhero shows), the good news is that the upcoming series In the Dark, premiering Thursday, is exactly the type of show the CW should be aiming for as it looks to the future.

The series, which counts Corinne Kingsbury, Ben Stiller, and Michael Showalter as executive producers, follows Murphy (Perry Mattfeld), a hard-drinking, apathetic, blind woman in her 20s, as she — with the help of her guide dog Pretzel — attempts to solve the apparent murder of her teenage friend Tyson (Thamela Mpumlwana) after the police see no reason to move forward with an investigation because the body has disappeared and Murphy wasn't exactly sober when she stumbled upon it.

The slightly darker, more adult tone of In the Dark is unlike most of the shows that currently air on The CW, but it explores many of the same themes one might find in said shows as Murphy struggles to find herself and her purpose in the midst of her spiraling grief. It also balances the seriousness of Tyson's death and the subsequent investigation with a well-placed sense of humor, so the subject matter never feels suffocating. The laughs often come courtesy of Murphy, her relationship with her best friend and roommate Jess (Brooke Markham), or at the expense of her coworker Felix (Morgan Krantz), but they also never feel forced or out of place.

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Jane the Virgin, and even the zombie-centered series iZombie, which is also coming to an end this season, have helped to change viewers' perspective of The CW. All three shows have tackled a number of complex issues over the course of their respective runs, and although Murphy might not appear to have much in common with Rebecca Bunch (Rachel Bloom), Jane Villanueva (Gina Rodriguez), or Liv Moore (Rose McIver) on the surface, she's another memorable CW heroine who has the potential to offer a unique perspective to the network's viewership base.

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend was a platform to explore mental illness through musical comedy. Jane the Virgin used the telenovela genre to start dialogues about representation through the heartwarming stories of the three generations of the Latina Villanueva family. And iZombie offered a new spin on the popular zombie genre by exploring its undead heroine's loneliness and depression as she took on the personalities of the people whose brains she ate to retain her humanity. Murphy's story has the opportunity to not just shine a light on the blind community but also normalize the experience, as she is not at all defined by her blindness (though it should be noted Mattfeld isn't blind in real life, which might be something viewers will take issue with).

Oddly enough, through the first three episodes of the series, which see Murphy going toe-to-toe with Tyson's drug-dealing older cousin Darnell (Keston John) and following up on the few leads she has managed to uncover, the investigation at the center of the series might just be the weakest part of the show. It is the vehicle through which the series explores Murphy's reluctant emotional growth, but it also lacks an obvious, immediate pull. The investigation into Tyson's death feels a bit more Riverdale Season 1 than Veronica Mars Season 1, because we still know so little about Tyson himself. Hopefully this will change as the series moves forward and we learn a bit more about Tyson through Murphy, his family members, and various flashbacks.

But even if the mystery doesn't become much more engaging or fulfilling, the investigation does lead Murphy down new paths in her personal life, which carries the show. Her search for the truth sees her befriend Chloe (Calle Walton, who is blind), the young blind daughter of Dean (Rich Sommer), a police officer with whom Murphy works on the case, as well as open herself up to the possibility of having a real, honest relationship with someone (Casey Diedrick's Max) rather than a series of meaningless one-night stands with losers she picks up at the local bar. It reveals that there is not just a lot of potential for Murphy, but for In the Dark as well.

The largest obstacle standing in the way of the show's success is the fact the series is premiering in April — it could easily get lost in the overwhelming number of shows returning or premiering this month. It could also just as easily fall through the cracks as we all awake from our winter slumber and venture outside to feel the warmth of the sun's rays on our faces. The similarity in title to Hulu's Into the Dark horror anthology also isn't doing the show any favors. But In the Dark is a good show with a lot of promise, and it deserves to be seen and not buried, burned off, or overlooked.

In the Dark premieres Thursday, April 4 at 9/8c on The CW.
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post #2 of 22 Old 04-04-2019, 06:21 AM
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Thanks. Gonna DVR it and check it out.
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post #3 of 22 Old 04-04-2019, 12:25 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks. Gonna DVR it and check it out.
No problem.


Gonna add it to mine too, but man, finding the time to watch it, now that is the trick.

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post #4 of 22 Old 04-04-2019, 11:27 PM
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Wow, not what I expected from CW! The opener has a totally unlikeable lead character who only softens a bit toward the end. Plus the cast is not the cookie cutter young adults of Riverdale and such. I'm hooked and in for the season on this one, hope it does not disappoint me.
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post #5 of 22 Old 04-05-2019, 04:12 PM
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While I agree it's not the typical CW fare, I still didn't care for it to continue. Not terrible and possibly I could learn to like it more but for now it was a one-and-done for us. I'm not really sure where it's going to go, will she continue the whole season looking for her missing(dead??) friend, will she team up with the detective(actor from Mad Men), frankly I'm not too much into her lifestyle to care. I could still give it another chance if people seem to think it's good and it keeps going, we'll see
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post #6 of 22 Old 04-05-2019, 07:00 PM
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My wife and I enjoyed the pilot. As others mentioned, not the usual CW fare, in a good way IMO. I'm in for now.
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post #7 of 22 Old 04-06-2019, 01:07 PM
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For the CW I'd say good job. It was largely different enough to find interesting. However when they ventured into a few of the story arcs it appeared they drove the characters rather than the characters driving the story.

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post #8 of 22 Old 04-06-2019, 01:47 PM
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Hope the thread title get's changed to: In the Dark.
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post #9 of 22 Old 04-08-2019, 09:33 AM - Thread Starter
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Hope the thread title get's changed to: In the Dark.
Changed. Thanks for the heads up!

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post #10 of 22 Old 04-12-2019, 01:26 PM
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I think the second episode played a little better... the characters feel more "comfortable in their skin" which is expected. Also they appear more in control of the story than the other way around. For me the show's edge is played just about right... not too corny and not too over the top.

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post #11 of 22 Old 04-12-2019, 03:58 PM
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I agree, the second episode hit it's marks. Funny, off beat and just enough plot development in a sort of believable way helped.
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post #12 of 22 Old 04-13-2019, 09:01 AM
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My, my. IMO, this show certainly is not timid, nor shy in showing/sounding bodily functions. Is it?
1-The two girlfriends listening in to the sounds of Murphy having sex and commenting about it.
2-After having sex, Murphy goes to the bathroom, drops her pants, sits on the toilet and passes gas.
3-Then Murphy has pain urinating and moans about it. I can only assume that she has a urinary tract infection.
4-While walking down the street, Murphy keeps grabbing her crotch, and rubbing, due to the pain that is recurring.


I am no prude–really. But, I don't really find it necessary to show (or have the sounds) of these body functions in the program. I don't feel it really enhances the actual story line at all. They are just shown as (for lack of a better description) "shock" value. If these were left out, the story would not be missing anything.



These are just my opinions. Of course, others will disagree.
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post #13 of 22 Old 04-13-2019, 09:56 AM
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They are just shown as (for lack of a better description) "shock" value.

Of course, others will disagree.
Correct. I find none of them shocking and they play nicely to the show's aura.
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post #14 of 22 Old 05-13-2019, 11:55 PM
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Just caught up on the last 4 episodes, and I have to say they are letting it all hang out on this show. They have gone places no other network show has - bordering on TMI.

Plot wise it looks like more and more people are involved in the crimes, getting to the point where it's down to who isn't involved.
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post #15 of 22 Old 05-14-2019, 04:02 AM
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I've mostly been enjoying this, but the scene in the buffet restaurant was a bit over the top in how anti-social she is, bordering on being completely unsympathetic and maybe a bit of a psychopath. I hated that scene because it took her from being a "I don't care what you think" type of personality to being a "I'm a complete jerk to ruin the buffet for everyone just because I can't ask the person next to me what's in the tray instead of grabbing handfuls of it" type.

It's the reason I almost stopped watching Monk in one of the later seasons: he went from being oblivious to being inconsiderate, to the point of being outright mean. Thankfully, he shifted back.
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post #16 of 22 Old 05-15-2019, 01:34 PM
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I've mostly been enjoying this, but the scene in the buffet restaurant was a bit over the top in how anti-social she is, bordering on being completely unsympathetic and maybe a bit of a psychopath.
Good for her. Already far too many cookie-cutters on TV. To the point of the less I "like" her the more I'll watch. I have already been complaining at times (while watching) she is being too nice... don't neuter her.

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Plot wise it looks like more and more people are involved in the crimes, getting to the point where it's down to who isn't involved.
To a large extent the more they focus on the murder the less I'm interested. For me the show is Murphy and if they let an arc become more "powerful" than her they are doing the show a disservice.

Surprisingly (based on its ratings) it has been renewed for a second season!
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post #17 of 22 Old 06-21-2019, 10:40 AM
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Next week is the season finale and I think they have recovered nicely by not letting the murder continually spin into an all consuming mess. Last several weeks it has still driven the bus but it's not out of control. This week I thought Murphy's attraction to Dean was a little too convenient and based on her prior relationships a little hard to buy. Especially considering the finale's title... "It's Always Been You" and the reveal they keep pointing to...

I assume (hope) the murder is wrapped up this season and I'm curious to where it will go next season.
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post #18 of 22 Old 06-23-2019, 01:45 PM - Thread Starter
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In the Dark' Finally Finds Itself at the End of the Season
By Mike Hughes, TVWorthWatching.com's 'Open Mike' - Jun. 20, 2019

Born with good intentions, fine actors, and poor pacing, In the Dark has wandered a bit.

It seemed to be drifting, but not anymore. The season's final two episodes make it all worthwhile; they're at 9 p.m. ET, Thursdays, June 20 and 27, on the CW.

Yes, that's the network that's stuffed with superheroes – which Dark is not. It's sort of the opposite, which is how it got started.

There was a management retreat, CW chief Mark Pedowitz recalled earlier this year, and the speaker was Lori Bernson. “Lori was captivating, and she was incredibly funny and sarcastic.” She's also blind, and she disputed all those stories about blind folks having super hearing or super hearts. As she puts it: “A person without vision can have as many quirks as a person who has sight.”

So CW created In the Dark, which arrived at mid-season and will be back sometime next year.

The show's main character, Murphy (Perry Mattfeld, top) had a degenerative disease in her teens (as did Bernson). Now she's a young woman, blind and bitter; she works at the guide dog place started by her parents, and now owned by Felix (Morgan Krantz), but rarely does anything helpful. She had exactly two friends – Jess (Brooke Markham), her roommate, and Tyson (Thamela Mpumlwana), a teen she met when he saved her from a violent attack.

Then things crashed. Murphy found Tyson's body. Her obsession with finding the killer strained things with Jess, who finally moved out. Even Dean (Rich Sommer) – the cop who was assigned to the case, partly because he has a blind daughter – has seemed exhausted by Murphy.

Often, Murphy dulls her senses with alcohol or sex. But now she's split from her boyfriend so as the June 20 episode begins she's thoroughly alone.

This is not cheery turf. After Murphy relates one memory, Chelsea (Lindsey Broad) calls it “like, the most depressing thing I've ever heard.” And Chelsea's a bartender, who knows depressed souls.

This show works because of the subtle skill of the actors. Mattfeld is perfect as Murphy – not just with the requirements of authentically playing a blind person, but the quiet details of a grim personality.

Not long ago, Mattfeld was a University of Southern California Song Girl, bouncing cheerily at basketball games. Now she plays someone she describes as “very deep and very layered...I beat (myself) pretty bad.”

It works. We start to like someone who doesn't seem to like herself. Others – especially Markham as Jess and Sommer as Dean – also bring subtlety to their roles.

In the Dark shouldn't have tried to stretch this first story out for 13 weeks. Now, however, these final two episodes provide a powerful pay-off.

http://www.tvworthwatching.com/BlogP...x?postId=18390

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post #19 of 22 Old 06-24-2019, 11:27 AM
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I believe this is a picture of Perry Mattfeld in college as a Southern California Song Girl
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post #20 of 22 Old 06-24-2019, 02:42 PM
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Words are worth a thousand pictures... isn't that how it goes.

http://collider.com/in-the-dark-perr...eld-interview/

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post #21 of 22 Old 06-27-2019, 11:57 PM
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Not quite sure I liked how they wrapped it up. Left a lot of options for next season though.
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post #22 of 22 Old 06-28-2019, 11:15 AM
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Not quite sure I liked how they wrapped it up. Left a lot of options for next season though.
I have similar thoughts. However I think it played off the rest of season very nicely. My only issue was the "bad guy" being at the cabin when they showed up... felt too contrived. But since it set up the underlining story arc going forward I understand.

It would have been nice to let Murphy have a moment of peace before being thrown back into the ring. I least enjoy the criminal aspect of the show so hopefully they will let it take more of a backseat next season. I find Murphy interesting enough that a story arc can easily feel like a distraction when it dominates the episodes/season.

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