Will Your Appreciation “Reanimate” ABC’s Red Widow?

Did you watch the new ABC crime drama Red Widow this weekend? I think the ratings weren’t great. The short ads I saw everywhere teased a Marin County housewife and mother, whose drug-smuggling beloved was in debt to a dangerous gangster, taking over for her husband after his murder. And I thought: This is way past Weeds. Who the heck would do that?!

So I confess, my expectations were low, though I’ve adored Goran Visnjic’s incipient evil ever since The Deep End (2001) with Tilda Swinton. However, I might’ve been more interested from the start if they’d told more about Marta Walraven, the main character played by Radha Mitchell. You can view what I think’s a more illuminating trailer below:

Aha! She’s not just an innocent carpool leader—she grew up in a Russian mob family! Now that at least makes more sense, vis-a-vis her entanglement, her inability to cut and run, and why she’d think she had any chance of surviving that world.

By the way, another interesting fact is that this new series is another international TV remake: it’s based on a Dutch show called Penoza. Here’s a short clip from that one, just because it’s interesting to see the original ages and hotness levels of the actors playing the couple and how the husband’s death unfolds. No crane shot over a bloodied driveway—simply awesome final eye rolls from the hospital bed instead. “Reanimate!” sounds so much more promising than “Clear!” Anyway, the subtitles are in Dutch, but you’ll get the gist.

Red Widow’s premiere is apparently a wild conglomeration of drama, action, and soap opera (which you can still watch at ABC.com or presumably from their app). People who’ve seen the second episode say the show picks up steam, and IMHO, later episodes are almost always improved by losing painful amounts of backstory. However, I think we may miss the departed hubby Evan Walraven (Anson Mount) who did, as many have noted, bring the epically flowing mane-age and beardwork that we appreciate so much in Sons of Anarchy.

And now I must ask…are there any new crime shows that have already fizzled for you or changed your (viewing) life? Did you check this one out, and could it earn its way into your weekly rotation?


  1. michael shonk

    I tried to watch this but didn’t get too far. Too much soap opera and too many credibility issues for me to put up with.

    It has not been a great season for TV mystery. There has been nothing to seriously challenge my favorites such as Person of Interest and Justified. I was very disappointed in Vegas when it failed to embrace the crime and instead turned into a soap opera. I loved Zero Hour for its comedic values rather than its mystery.

  2. Clare 2e

    @michaels42– I’m afraid I went the same way with Vegas, and I really wanted it to work. But there are still too many broad characterizations and people doing things that don’t make sense if they’re at all smart. I have guilty pleasures which satisfy my need for the stylishly ridiculous, but I always appreciate a different kind of clever show. I think Elementary’s improving in depth, an opinion which may make me lonely around here.

  3. Mary Saputo

    Geez, Clare. I listened to you and stuck with Vegas and now I like it. As to Elementary improving – couldn’t prove it by me. Don’t like it and won’t watch it again. I DID watch The Red Widow and liked it but we’ll see. I have a feeling it could get a bit – been there, done that. As to Person of Interest, didn’t like it at all when it first came out but went back and gave it another try and now like it, although I am a bit skeptical of one guy who can beat EVERYONE.

  4. Matt222

    I’m actually surprised how good the show is. Wasn’t expecting much from an ABC mob story – network drama tends to be weak. But the acting is excellent and apparently the way the show develops will be interesting if they do it like the Dutch version.

  5. Salemgirl

    I liked the show and will continue to watch. Hope they keep it on for a while

  6. Mary Saputo

    Watched again this past Sunday and came away still undecided. Do things like this really happen? You’d have to be a really strong person to go along with this crook and I’m not sure anyone is that strong. Especially a woman who’s been a housewife for so long. Sure, she was raised in a “mafia” family but to do it herself with no former “training?” Bit of a reach for me. I think I heard them say it would only be on for 6 weeks anyway.

  7. Mary Saputo

    I’m sure all of you do the same thing; set your cable to tape shows you like. I was looking at the list of those taped programs to decide which to watch and saw that Red Widow had been taped. I started to watch it and not 15 minutes into it, I decided I didn’t want to watch any longer. I figured that if I hadn’t even missed it and was surprised when it came back on, there wasn’t anything there that I wanted – or needed – to watch. Another one bites the dust.

  8. Clare 2e

    I think the people have spoken on this one.

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