February 8, 2017

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Does Stan's new con-woman on the run series pass muster or is Imposters a dead duck?


Sophia Watson
Year: 2017
Rating: NA
Director: Various

Inbar Lavi, Rob Heaps, Parker Young, Marianne Rendón, Stephen Bishop, Brian Benben, Katherine LaNasa, Uma Therman

Distributor: Stan
Released: February 8, 2017
Running Time: 45 minutes/episode
Worth: $14.50

FilmInk rates movies out of $20 — the score indicates the amount we believe a ticket to the movie to be worth

…it does manage to do ‘cheesy’ in a passably clever way.

The risk of Imposters being relegated to the TV-trash basket was high. Heartbreak, revenge, a good-looking chick, pathetic guys who trail after her – the humdrum formula is definitely there. But despite being predicated on almost every imaginable trope in television history, Imposters – at least the first three eps – is a fun disruption of what you’d expect it to be.

Con artist Maddie – also known as Ava, Alice and Saffron (Inbar Lavi) is as beautiful and alluring as she is dangerous. Maddie is a manipulative seductress who charms people into marrying her before making off with their cash (and just enough dirt to blackmail them into shutting up about it). But she runs into trouble when her latest assignment threatens to be derailed after she meets Patrick (Stephen Bishop), a potential – real – love interest.

Further complicating Maddie’s life’s work are three former targets – Ezra (Rob Heaps), Richard (Parker Young) and Jules (Marianne Rendón) – who soon realise they have each been scammed by the same woman and team up to track her down. What they don’t realise is that they must face their own truths and find new versions of themselves along the way in exacting their revenge.

Imposters works for one reason: it’s so typically (laughably) soapy, that it becomes kind of an endearing parody. Whether or not this was a deliberate choice is unclear, but whether it was or wasn’t, it’s funny because the premise, the acting, the writing, the direction, is all a bit silly.

For example, the show’s opening gambit takes place right after gorgeous, French-accented Ava (Maddie, Alice, Saffron et al) cleans out her nice Jewish husband, Ezra, and Ezra tries to kill himself by hanging himself with an extension cord after watching a ‘how-to’ tutorial on YouTube. Now, this would usually be viewed as quite a dark happenstance, right? But Imposters somehow finds the humour in it. And that’s really the caveat of the show – it forces its audience to take part in a bit of schadenfreude.

Imposters walks that fine line between mid-arvo soap opera and lovable dark comedy. It’s no Bojack Horseman, but ultimately it does manage to do ‘cheesy’ in a passably clever way.

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