TV Report Card | 'The Lying Game' Season 2 Review

Overview: “The Lying Game” had its second season after a whole year away from being broadcast. You wouldn’t have known it from watching because the show never missed a beat. It featured characters we cared about and a mystery that kept us intrigued and satisfied along the way.

Storyline Direction: Having known Chuck Pratt’s work due to being an unabashed long time viewer of the ABC soap General Hospital with which, he was the head writer for many years. There was a familiarity with his writing style and therefore expectations were high before watching “The Lying Game”.

His arcs were always exciting on GH and when he left the show, its writing quality saw a significant dip. Its quality has since returned; though that is an article for another time. Upon watching “The Lying Game” since its premiere, it was clear that Pratt hadn’t lost his touch.

This show constantly kept you on the edge of your seat. It maintained a character driven storyline and didn’t waste time on random plot points that drove us to yet another dead end. As a viewer, it takes a lot to decide to invest in a mystery show because you will more than likely have to stick around until the very end of the series to get all of the answers.

That could require a lengthy series run or cancellation before receiving the answers. The key to winning that long-term investment is to feel there is an actual plan for the series, an endgame and pay-offs periodically. “The Lying Game” delivers on all of these fronts. 

The characters were always fun to watch and just when you were about to write your favorite villain off, something came to light that made you see them completely different. It’s these things that keep viewers engaged and loyal to a show where the fan fare and press seems far less focused. The quality of the series, speaks for itself and it is a series that deserves to be heard.

Hands down one of the best, there is no show on the Big 5 (yes, I’m counting CW) that comes close to this. While, other shows (LOST) string us along with no end in sight, this show firmly has itself on track and as a viewer, you can enjoy the journey to the destination.

Performance Quality: Many have played twins before her and yet when you see it done correctly, you realize that you have forgotten most of them because they weren’t impressive enough to stick with you. Alexandra Chando’s dual portrayal of Emma Becker and Sutton Mercer is incredible and it will remain a standard for all other dual roles. She flawlessly portrayed both twins with so much ease that you forget how tricky it truly is.

While, Chando diligently anchors the difficult lead roles; her supporting cast never left her hanging. Helen Slater (Kristen) plays one of the best TV moms ever; she embodies a true decency that provides a moral compass for the show.

The key element of the show is the family that the series let develop. It’s easy to see why Emma falls in love with them as much as anything else in her newfound life. Andy Buckley (Ted) and Allie Gonino (Laurel) round out the family and their performances lend credibility to Emma’ desire to stay in this life.

Viewers could really invest in seeing Emma unite with the Mercers’ with her real identity and that wouldn’t be possible without the fabulous familial chemistry that all four actors share. As much focus that is put on romantic chemistry between actors, it is the more underappreciated aspect of developing a family chemistry that makes a character really come to life.

Blair Redford (Ethan) added the perfect amount of teen angst and bad boy charm to balance out all of the morality that is our lead heroine, Emma. Charisma Carpenter turned in a delightfully sinful performance as the mysterious and proverbially scheming Rebecca.

Musical Score: The music on this show was consistently well done, with a refreshing indie vibe that never impedes its’ gentle melodies against the dialogue heavy series. The standout music moment of the season came when Allie Gonino performed with her real-life band, The Good Mad. They have a really cool sound and seem destined to be going places.

Overall Grade: A+, “The Lying Game” never missed a beat. Always keeping the audience engaged in the machinations of our favorite characters and left us guessing until, the very end. There has to be another season for this criminally underrated little gem.

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