THE GATES (ABC) “Pilot” Early Review

The Gates (ABC)

The vampire craze shows no sign of stopping and ABC is trying to get in on the trend with their new show THE GATES, which premieres Sunday, June 20 at 10pm. I had a chance to take an early look at the pilot, which stars Frank Grillo, Marisol Nichols, and Rhona Mitra.

The show is set in an idyllic community called The Gates, which on the surface appears to be the perfect image of suburbia. However, hiding among the human residents is a supernatural community that includes vampires, werewolves, and witches. Their reasons for living in The Gates aren’t entirely clear, but they definitely go to great lengths to hide themselves from humans.

The new police chief, Nick Monahan, moves his family to The Gates from Chicago to get a fresh start, unaware of the secrets hidden there. The family is instantly taken with their fancy new house and upscale neighborhood. The problem is that in a community where everyone is hiding something, Nick’s cop instincts are bound to stir up trouble.

The Monahan’s son, the angsty Charlie, begins attending the high school and finds himself almost instantly involved in a love triangle. I’m expecting that there will be plenty more teen drama to come, something younger viewers should enjoy.

Since The Gates is about vampires and is airing on the same night as True Blood, it’s impossible not to compare the two shows, but really there is no comparison. The Gates is much more like Desperate Housewives, only here the housewife bringing a casserole to the new neighbors has fangs. Despite the supernatural twist, I still felt like I had seen it before when it was Bree Van de Kamp acting as welcome wagon on Wisteria Lane. Personally, I’ll take the dangerous, sultry vampires of Bon Temps, Louisiana over these suburban vampires any day (even if their kitchens are to die for).

While the show didn’t wow me, I’ll probably give it at least one more episode because I’m curious about the vampire mythology. I’d like to know where they come from and more about their reasons for living in The Gates. There’s also the issue of the new police chief, who’s clearly suspicious, and how they are going to evade him.

While The Gates probably isn’t going to attract the True Blood audience, I can see how it would appeal to people looking for a more family friendly vampire show. I’d also easily recommend it to fans of other ABC shows with a similar tone like Desperate Housewives or the canceled Eastwick.

So don’t forget, The Gates premieres on Sunday, June 20, at 10pm on ABC.