• The Catch: Too Much of the Same Thing?

    by  • March 31, 2016 • Broadcast Decency, Sex, Violence • 6 Comments

    ABC’s latest series from producer Shonda Rhimes relies too much on familiar themes.

    Shonda Rhimes has become a household name in recent years, as the executive producer of several of ABC’s most successful television shows: Grey’s Anatomy,Scandal, and How to Get Away With Murder. So successful is Rhimes that her programs constitute ABC’s entire Thursday night line-up, which is now known as T.G.I.T. (Thank God It’s Thursday).

    Rhimes’ production company, ShondaLand, specializes in suspenseful dramas full of sexual situations and instances of violence. ShondaLand’s logo is, appropriately, a theme park roller coaster, which accurately represents the twists and turns encountered in each episode. But the logo could also represent the uneasy feeling the audience gets after watching one of these shows. Recently, the March 24th premiere of ShondaLand’s newest series, The Catch, aired to a record low number of viewers. Many critics are wondering whether the Shondaland roller coaster is simply slowing down, or is experiencing some technical difficulties.

    After the instant success of Scandal, ShondaLand began using the same model in creating its other series. Since then, How to Get Away With Murder and now The Catch have also been fast-paced, female-driven, sex-fueled suspense thrillers. The supporting cast of these shows are often young and attractive, which inevitably leads to sexual situations taking place in or around the workplace. The Catch, however, begins with a seemingly perfect relationship between Alice Vaughan, a private investigator, and Christopher Hall, a wealthy businessman. Alice works for a company that caters to a high-profile clientele by protecting their assets and their secrets. In the series premiere, Alice is engaged to Christopher, and everything seems perfect. What Alice doesn’t know is that Christopher is secretly a master thief who’s been conning Alice for over a year. One day, Christopher and his criminal cohorts withdraw everything from Alice’s accounts, as well as those of several of her clientele, and abruptly disappear. Upon discovering Christopher’s betrayal, Alice and her team vow to find him and make him pay. This sets up the series’ title and creates a cat-and-mouse relationship between Alice and Christopher.

    Alice is a captivating yet predictable protagonist who seems the most passionate after she finds out about Christopher. Her passion is more believable when she’s at work than when she is shown being romantic with her fiancé. Even after the nature of their relationship changes, both Alice and Christopher show signs of affection toward one another in a way that feels forced. Apparently, the actor playing Christopher was changed after the original pilot episode was filmed, which called for a reshoot of the entire episode. Hopefully this series will not rely solely on the storyline between Alice and Christopher, because her character would be just as interesting if she were just a private investigator. Postponing their reunion will create more tension and will allow the audience to get to know Alice and her investigation team.

    The future of this series is still up in the air. On the one hand it, follows the ShondaLand formula to a tee, but on the other hand maybe following the formula is exactly what’s wrong with The Catch. The characters are slick, confident, and smartly dressed, making them a little inaccessible to a large variety of viewers. There’s an undeniable feeling of, “I’ve seen this before,” that a casual viewer gets when watching this series. As for fans of the other Shonda Rhimes programs, they’ll feel right at home.

    The Catch is rated TV-14 D L for sexual dialogue and offensive language. Offensive language was not a problem in the first episode. The main concern for parents would be the sex scenes between Alice and Christopher; even though they weren’t explicit scenes, they also weren’t included in the show’s rating. Violence is a minor concern which may change in future episodes. It’s too early to tell whether or not The Catch will catch an audience of its own.

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    About

    Enrique Aguilar is a Research Analyst for the PTC. He is a graduate of California State University, Fullerton, with a Bachelor’s Degree in the field of Radio-TV-Film.

    6 Responses to The Catch: Too Much of the Same Thing?

    1. Peggy
      April 3, 2016 at 3:00 pm

      The new medical show on NBC at 7pm about the heart dr dropped me when there was a kissing- make-out session which was practically depicting oral sex. At 7:00 no less.

    2. Cheryl Gritis
      April 21, 2016 at 12:04 pm

      I liked “The Catch” the first show or two. But then they stuck in the lesbian scene between the lesbian and apparently the bi-sexual. I am sick and tired of the gay sex permeating tv these days. I have stopped watching many shows for this reason.

      • Holly Ferguson
        June 5, 2016 at 2:50 pm

        Wow, this is what’s wrong with our world! It’s 2016, yet people like you still act like there’s something wrong with being LGBTQAI. Newsflash: THERE’S NOTHING WRONG WITH BEING GAY, LESBIAN, BISEXUAL, TRANSGENDERED, ASEXUAL, INTERSEX, or whatever other label [or non-label] you identify with! And to quote one of my favorite songs, “Everyone Is Gay” by A Great Big World:

        // If you’re straight well that’s great!! You can help procreate and make gay little babies for the whole human race. Make a world we can live in where the one who you love’s not an issue //

        Seriously though, gay sex isn’t “permeating TV these days” LOL! Straight couples, who are 90% of the time both Caucasian, still dominate TV and movies. The fact that TV and movies are at least TRYING to be more inclusive is ABSOLUTELY WONDERFUL! People are LGBT, it’s 100% normal, it’s how they’re born, myself included – I’m bisexual, and there’s nothing wrong with me, thank you very much! The fact that you say “I have stopped watching many shows for this reason.” just shows how truly sad and ignorant you are, honestly I feel sorry for you. You’re so hateful that a few moments of two men or two women doing the same thing as straight TV couples is so disgusting to you that you’ll quit watching a show?! Let’s be real here, if it’s on a network show – ABC, CBS, CW, Fox or NBC – we’re not going to be seeing anything super risque to begin with, aside from the occasional boundary pushing scene, and it seems that with LGBT couples, their romantic scenes [whether it's them actually making love, just sharing a kiss, or even just having a date] are even more chaste than straight couples!

        But hey, if you want to be stuck in the past, clutching onto the wrong side of history, and missing out on entertaining shows, all because you’re a clueless homophobic bigot… enjoy being miserable while intelligent, classy people laugh at you!

        • Sanyi
          November 1, 2016 at 10:44 am

          Seriously? You are offended, because someone is turned off by gay scenes? How does not liking something equate to hating everything about it? I, personally HATE cooked white carrots, but ABSOLUTELY LOVE all raw vegetables! I am 100% certain, you are turned off by something yourself and if you’re not, you’re just afraid to admit it. Comparing apples to oranges is exactly what is wrong with this whole gay or as you put it, “LGBTQAI,” conversation. One can have no problem accepting, and even being great friends with someone who is LGBTQAI, and yet be totally discussed by seeing kissing, heavy petting or sexually explicit scenes in their favorite shows performed by said people. Woman, or Man, just get a life and accept that everyone’s taste is different!

          • exo
            May 17, 2017 at 12:24 am

            say no more, just sit back and watch how all these shows pushing an agenda are getting canceled one after the other . people aren’t duped by these less than subtle efforts to eye-rape us daily …

    3. Jennifer
      April 23, 2016 at 8:03 pm

      I think “The Catch” is just what we needed: a little love, a little danger, a little bit of unpredictably. I can literally take or leave “How to Get Away with Murder” now. I’ve grown so tired of the “10 yrs ago” flashbacks that I became thoroughly confused where the actual storyline ever was each wk. The Catch is a breath of fresh air to watch for the rest of the season. Let’s face it: “Greys” is such an icon with a superb storyline that will never lose viewers. I’m afraid that’s what is happening to “Scandal”, though: Losing. It’s time for Liv to get back in the game & quit letting that chemically-imbalanced father of hers rule everything. Jake is crazy georgeous, but his the new wife of his is a real sinker. The Rowan/”son” relationship is spooky & downright makes my skin crawl. I actually got excited each wk to watch TGIT live to help ratings. I’m growing impatient with Scandal, though. I (was) my most highly-favored show, but the subject matter is growing intensely boring, especially with lessened opportinities to see intensely romantic scenes, now that the rich, desperate housewife will likely be following his moves.

      Though each U.S. Citizen is entitle to their own Choice. Such an outright political endorsement was a bit of a mistake- especially here in the very conservative South. I’m afraid the viewers here in the Southest will take thetvsk little to personally. Please get back to the subject-matter & off of the political scene.

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