I’ve been a fan of Stuart Townsend’s since he played one of my favorite characters – the Vampire Lestat – in 2002’s “Queen of the Damned” (a film with a fantastic soundtrack, by the way).
Since then, his career has been steady with lesser known TV series and a fun appearance as the oversexed pastry chef on “Will & Grace,” but he hasn’t broken out to become a household name. ABC’s new drama, “Betrayal,” may finally change that.
The show premiered last night (Sept. 29, 2013), and I’m already hooked. Townsend plays a lawyer named Jack, and Hannah Ware plays Sara, an artist who is the wife of a prosecutor. When they meet by chance, their attraction for one another is irresistible, and they soon discover that their feelings go beyond merely the physical.
Meanwhile, Jack works for his wife’s father, Thatcher (played by James Cromwell). When Thatcher’s brother-in-law is found dead, his mentally challenged son T.J. (played by Henry Thomas of “E.T.” fame) becomes a suspect. Jack must then try to prevent T.J. from being convicted, and as it turns out, the prosecutor is none other than Sara’s husband, Drew.
Okay, okay, it’s contrived. But the complications are fun to watch because the actors are so compelling. The heat between Jack and Sara is smoldering and believable, and it’s easy to become involved in their moral, emotional, and sexual dilemma. Nothing is black and white here; it’s all shades of grey (no, not 50 shades) with no simple “good and evil” pitted against each other.
Cromwell is always excellent, and it’s interesting to see Thomas play a character like this. Townsend and Ware are both talented enough to give their characters the kind of depth that keeps us watching. Townsend, by the way, is Irish, while Ware is British, but they manage their American accents well.
The premiere’s opening image gives us a hint of what’s to come, which is intense indeed. Check it out Sunday nights at 10/9C on ABC.