Guilt “Pilot” Review (Season 1, Episode 1)

Guilt

It is said that “imitation is the sincerest form of flattery,” but when a TV show is imitating one of the most sensationalized murder cases of the past 10 years, it is very hard to say it is flattery at all.

Guilt is the new drama on Freeform (formerly ABC Family) that focuses on Grace Atwood (actress Daisy Head from the Hallmark Channel made-for-TV movie When Calls the Heart), an American studying abroad in London who – after a night of debauchery – discovers that her Irish flatmate (aka roommate in American parlance) brutally murdered.

What’s worse is Grace as well as her French boyfriend Luc Pascal (relative newcomer Zachary Fall) – after being questioned and released immediately after the murder– are later apprehended as it seemed they were attempting to flee London.

Here is the synopsis for Guilt:

In the murder of Molly Ryan, many are guilty in different ways, but only one is truly guilty of her murder. When Natalie’s sister Grace becomes the prime suspect in her roommate Molly’s murder and popular target for the press and in social media, Natalie leaves her life in Boston and heads to London to defend her. With the help of an ethically questionable ex-pat lawyer Stan Gutterie, Natalie starts to question how innocent her sister may really be as more ugly truths start to emerge. The mystery will twist through all layers of London society – from a posh but depraved sex club all the way up to the Royal Family itself.

While there was plenty of story to be told in the pilot episode not to mention plenty of suspects for whom to point a finger at as the culprit, the series felt a little overdone, a little too much soap and not enough drama, a little too predictable.

Case in point: Grace had an affair with one of her professors then learned he was married. What did she do? She decided to slash the tires of his car, which caused his wife to be seriously injured.

Case in point: Grace’s boyfriend Luc had sex with Molly the night of Molly’s murder and then later that night, he slept with Grace on the roof of their flat. Oh, and let’s not forget that Luc is an artist who uses fake blood for all of his paintings. Gross, right?

Case in point: Grace’s other flatmate Roz (actress Simona Brown from The Night Manager) is much more than just a DJ at the local club frequented by Molly and Grace, she is involved in the aforementioned sex club where Molly was supposedly a high-end prostitute.

Case in point: It was determined that Molly was pregnant at the time of her death, but who is the baby daddy if the assumption of her being a prostitute at the sex club is true (and that certainly seemed to be the case if the trailer for the rest of the season is any example). Could it be Britain’s Prince Theo (relative newcomer Sam Cassidy)? Or James Lahue (Buffy alum Anthony Head, who also happens to be the real-life dad of lead actress Daisy), Grace’s and Natalie’s ass of a step-dad, who seemed to be in attendance at that sex club? Or perhaps one of the other men at the sex club?

What did you think of ‘Guilt’? Do you plan to watch the rest of the debut season of this new show? Who do you think might be the real culprit? Please share your thoughts in our comments section below.

The next new episode of the debut season of ‘Guilt’ will air on FreeForm on Monday, June 20 at 9/8c.