SCOUNDRELS “And Jill Came Tumbling After” Episode 1 Early Review

Scoundrels (ABC)

ABC’s SCOUNDRELS is a new summer show that will premiere on Sunday, June 20, at 9pm. I had a chance to take an early look at the first episode “And Jill Came Tumbling After,” which stars the fabulous Virginia Madsen (“Sideways”), David James Elliott (JAG), and Carlos Bernard (Tony on “24”).

Cheryl West (Virginia Madsen), the matriarch of the West family, is at her wit’s end with her family and their disregard for the law. They generally stick to petty crimes, but after their father (David James Elliott) is sent to prison, Cheryl decides that they will all give up their life of crime and become model citizens.

Cheryl is partially inspired by her son, Logan, a newly minted attorney who has distanced himself from the family business. However, his twin brother, Cal (both played by Patrick Flueger), aspires to be a criminal just like his father.

Their youngest sister, Hope (Vanessa Marano), appears to be the brains of the family although she would rather make movies than go to school. I immediately recognized Vanessa Marano from Gilmore Girls and Young & the Restless. She always seems to play the role of the brainy, sarcastic teenager—but hey, she’s good at it, so why not?

Her older sister, Heather (Leven Rambin), is a ditzy blonde whose goal in life is to be a model. I wasn’t too impressed with her character at first, but then there was a twist that made me think there might be a little more to her after all.

Carlos Bernard plays Sergeant Mack, the police officer that has it out for the Wests. He already sent Wolf, their father, to prison and now he is gunning for Cal.

Virginia Madsen, as Cheryl West, is the glue that holds both the West family and Scoundrels together. I’ve admired her since I saw her in “Sideways” and I think she is just fabulous. I loved the chemistry between her and David James Elliott, although I don’t know how many scenes they will have together since his character is in jail (maybe they will do some flashbacks?).

Scoundrels has a good cast and an interesting premise, and I think it has the potential to become a fun show. Even though it’s about criminals, it’s very light-hearted—I mean, compared to The Sopranos, the Wests are practically boy scouts. The pilot is mostly about introducing the characters and the sequence of events that lead to Cheryl’s decision to go straight, so I’m not sure what the show will be like week to week. Still, I’m always happy to have new, scripted shows during the summer so I will probably watch a few more episodes to see how the show develops.

So check out Scoundrels on Sunday, June 20, at 9pm on ABC, and then come back here and let me know what you think.