Deception Is Not Revenge

Show: Deception, which airs Mondays at 10 PM on NBC.

Plot: When pharmaceutical company heiress Vivian Bowers (Bree Williamson) is found dead under sketchy circumstances, FBI agent Will Moreno (Laz Alonso) asks his ex, SFPD detective Joanna Locasto (Meagan Good), to infiltrate the Bowers family and see what the real story might be. Why would the Bowerses let Joanna spend so much time in close quarters with them? Because Joanna's late mother worked for them, so Joanna grew up in the Bowers home; though they hadn't been in very close touch in more recent years, Vivian had been Joanna's best friend.

Soapy Intrigue: It's still unfolding, but wow. Vivian's father Robert (the great Victor Garber) screws around on his second wife Sophia (Katherine LaNasa) basically all the time; in the second episode, when his office side piece Hannah (Claire Byrne) complains that she isn't moving up in the company and threatens Robert with secrets she knows (one of their big cancer drugs sounds suuuuuuper-sketchy), he has one of his hired goons break her brother's knees to shut her up. Vivian's sister Mia (Ella Rae Peck) is actually Vivian's daughter, which everyone knows except Mia herself; at the time of her death, Vivian was secretly pregnant again, and the father was a whistleblower at the family's company. Vivian's older brother Edward (Tate Donovan) has already been involved in a scandal in which he was suspected to have killed a former girlfriend. And as Joanna spends more time with Vivian's other brother Julian (Wes Brown), who also happens to be her high school boyfriend, the attraction seems to be rekindling -- even as she's also on a reunion tour with Will.

What It Will Remind You Of: It's the dysfunctional family of rich dicks you may remember from Dirty Sexy Money crossed with the interloper sneaking around the Hamptons of Revenge.

What’s Best About It: Garber and Donovan seem like they're having the greatest time.

What’s Worst About It: Though she is very beautiful, Good is a limited actor, particularly considering that she's on an undercover mission. And Julian -- a dopey, drug-abusing playboy -- is not really a credible romantic rival when the alternative is Will.

But If I Save It Until Friday, Don’t I Risk Having Someone Spoil It For Me Before I Watch It? Maybe eventually, but it doesn't seem to have really entered public consciousness yet.

Finally, And Most Importantly, Do the Female Leads Wear Cute Outfits? Not only are they cute, but with teenaged Mia, mid-thirties Joanna, and hot late fortysomething Samantha, the show serves as an excellent primer on how to dress at any age (if you are very wealthy).

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