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Third-episode verdict: Imposters (US: Bravo)

Posted 28 days ago at 21:07 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

BarrometerImposters.jpgA Barrometer rating of 2

In the US: Tuesdays, 10/9c, Bravo

So it turns out that despite being about con artists and their victims, Imposters is quite nice and quite funny. The basic story is that Inbar Levi (The Last Ship) is a conwoman who gets men - and women - to fall in love with them, marries them, steals all their money with the help of her accomplices (Katherine LaNasa, Brian Benben), and then moves on to her next mark. However, over the course of the first three episodes, a group of her jilted exes (Rob Heaps, Parker Young, Marianne Rendón) slowly discover the existence of one another and like a slightly sad and broken, slightly more incompetent, but considerably more likable Magnificent Seven, they head off in pursuit of Levi in the hope of getting their money back - and maybe even Levi herself.

The show oscillates between sadness and hilarity. Episode one, which gives us sensitive Heaps' sudden descent from bliss to despair, is suicidally miserable; episode two, on the other hand, gives us the knuckle-headed Young and the slow forging of a partnership between Young and Heaps; episode three adds Rendón and veers between melancholy and mischief, as we see how Young might have slightly greater depths and Rendón is a therapy-addicted hipster.

Imposters also has two converging but separate storylines, with Levi trying to trick her current mark, the rich, sweet but dull Aaron Douglas but thinking she might have a real relationship with the handsome Stephen Bishop instead. While Levi is having second thoughts about 'the life', Heaps, Young and Rendón are starting to learn the art of the con (some might already know a little about it) in order to boost their penniless existence. Eventually, they might all meet in the middle of a grey morality and be suitable for each other

Where Imposters is most interesting is its commentaries on relationships. Levi makes people fall in love with her, by giving them what they want - her marks all want to believe her. Meanwhile, when Levi genuinely wants to settle down, she can't because she can't stop acting and so setting off warning sirens with other people's intuition.

But the show's nebulous con organisation is also quite a fun invention, with episode three giving Benben a bit more to do (which is nice - you remember Dream On, don't you?)…

…as well as introducing Uma Thurman as the organisation's enforcer, who'll go full Kill Bill on Levi if she gets out of line.

Imposters is at its best when it's being slightly silly, but it's still no shirk when it comes to dealing with the rawer aspects of the emotions. The cast are good, Levi is impressive and while it doesn't exactly have the hard edge of a Noir, it does have a bit more of a proximity to reality than Leverage did. It's not really doing anything that new in terms of plotting, but it's an amusing exploration of ideas, characters and emotions nevertheless.

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