Harper's Island ep 1
CBS had been promoting their new series, Harper's Island, in commercials, posters, and magazines for months. I felt like I couldn't turn a corner without being smacked in the face with their "13 Weeks. 25 Suspects. 1 Killer." bologna. I was skeptical about it, but the premise intrigued me. My friends and I discussed it and decided it couldn't be horrible because CBS is the #1 network and doesn't need to fill time with just anything, unlike some others (ahem, NBC). So, my associate, Tyna, and I sat down to inject a little mystery into our Thursday night. Within the first 30 seconds, we decided Harper's Island would best be enjoyed as a drinking game. Yes, we're 19-year-old frat boys (the rules are posted at the bottom of this for anyone else on our maturity level). We also discovered, that this wasn't going to be a stereotypical mystery show, it was more like an extended wannabe horror movie.
The show itself is not the greatest work of art ever put on television. However, the worse it got, the more in love I became. There was only one turn-my-head-away scary part, and that was the creepy shots of the people hanging. I also have a phobia, so it was probably cheesy to normal people. Other than that, there is nothing original or scary on this Island. In fact, it was impossible to count all of the horror movie rip-offs (or homages if you're feeling kind). It was like they were trying to cram in as many clichés as possible-which made our drinking game more fun, but did nothing for the quality of the show.
Putting these people on an island is one of the best ideas the show has going for it. I'm interested in seeing how they all get trapped there. Will the hundreds of boats we saw get blown up? Can I hope that the ferry is taken over, Under Siege style with no Jean-Claude Van Damme to rescue them? The long aerial shots of the island look like they raided the Lost closet of stock footage, but it's a nice attempt to show us the characters' isolation.
The small town with fishermen as suspects is straight from I Know What You Did Last Summer. Not to mention that the main character, Abby, left a semi-attractive (mostly when he has a hat on) boy toy behind when she fled her hometown. Of course, Abby also resembles one Miss. Neve Campbell of Scream fame, complete with a previously-murdered mother. How convenient! I hope someone slipped Kevin Williamson a twenty for use of his ideas.
The nearby water source has also allowed for multiple scenes to be taken from the Jaws script. Skinny dipping, anyone? What else would the little Blondie character do with her free time? It must be pretty warm in that part of Washington, seeing as a lot of these girls enjoy running around in their underwear. If that's not a horror-movie cliché, what is?
The biggest rip of all, however, is the creepy little girl. You can't have scary without a strange-behaving kid who whispers all the time! There was even a scene where she stood by her parents' bed while they slept just like Dawn of the Dead (the remake). Her classic line, "My new friend told me," could have been swiped from The Sixth Sense, Hide and Seek or The Shining. Really original.
In another groundbreaking scene, a discussion arose of whether girls and boys can just be friends. What happened between Abby and the groom back in the day? Ah, the intrigue! I wonder if the bad acting is an homage to horror movies as well. While we're at it, I'm glad they thought to include the one random British guy and the one-and-only black friend in the cast. Necessities, really.
So, I haven't said many nice things about the show, thus far. Why will I continue to watch it? Because they hooked me: I want to see these characters die off. Plus, I'm sorta interested to see which already-been-done ending they have chosen for the finale.
While it was absolutely terrible, my friends and I used the drinking game for pre-gaming purposes on Saturday night. Tyna and I also inducted another loser into our Harper's Island club, and the three of us have made plans to get together and bask in the amazing crappiness of this show each week. Beer in hand, of course. Below I have made my usual lists, and for those interested, you can register to win $1,000 on the CBS website by guessing who's gonna eat it each week. CBS doesn't pay me to advertise, obviously, since they probably wouldn't be down with all the smack I've talking throughout this hub.
I have little-to-no desire to learn the characters names. Hopefully you can interpret my descriptions.
The guy with the Seth Rogen glasses
People of Interest
People to Die
Harper's Island: The Drinking Game (Only play with alcoholic beverages if you're over 21! Otherwise, stick to soda!)
When any of these things occur drink the corresponding number of sips:
Horror movie cliché: 2
Someone dies: 5
More by this Author
What happened to the teen heartthrobs who graced the covers of Tiger Beat? Adulthood has not been too kind to a few...
An analysis of the role of sexuality in the film, Gilda, starring Rita Hayworth.
Several artists have covered David Bowie's song, Heroes, with mixed success. Here are five versions of the classic song.