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“Wicked City” Review, ABC’s hot fall drama


Title: Wicked City

Set-Up: Planned to be an anthology series (different characters, different plot point, but same basic premise) during the various eras of Los Angeles history, the inaugural season follows the seedy Sunset Strip in the 1980s and a serial killer, played by Ed Westwick. Kent (at least, we think his name is Kent), always requests a song for the girl he’s about to murder and, eventually, make love with. While the LAPD are on hot pursuit trying to find him, with the accidental help from a local wannabe Rolling Stone reporter, Kent begins a Bonnie & Clyde relationship with Betty, a fellow pain lover who is looking for love. Will they be caught? Or will the city stay Wicked?

Thoughts: Clearly after reading the set-up that you realize…this show ain’t for the kiddies. This is one of, if not thee, darkest pilot I’ve ever seen on ABC or network television period. American Crime is up there as far as content, taking on big “faux-pas” topics, like race last season and rape coming up, but this is violent and creepy and dark. Paul Lee at the upfronts stated that this was the highest rated show among millennials and I can see why. As a proud millennial myself, we love us some creepy and dark shows. American Horror Story is a big draw (for me specifically, Coven is one of my favorite shows of all-time), Scream Queens has a certain darkness to it, and Scandal can get to places that can be deemed unsettling (Mama Pope and her wrists…still freaks me out). That being said, I absolutely adored this pilot. The 80s is a fun era to start with, as you get an amazing soundtrack to add to the horror of how Kent preys upon his victims. But really, the best part of this show is Ed Westwick. First off, he’ll bring in the millennials in droves from his work on Gossip Girl (“I’m Chuck Bass”), but he is oh so good in this role. Super creepy, slight nuances in his face to show different emotions, he truly frightens me in the best way.

I am really interested to see where they’ll take the show, especially since this is only a limited series. 10 episodes is the entire first season, which hopefully will leave me with 10 great episodes. The writing has times where it feels very soap opera, which is not a compliment, but I’m hoping that’s just a “Case of the Pilots”. If this does well enough, can get past the writing troubles, and gets a Season 2, I’m curious to know what era of LA we will be getting. Let’s hope for a 50s killer!

Time Slot: Tuesdays at 10pm EST is universally considered ABC’s worst time slot imaginable. For those playing along at home, here’s the recent break down: Body of Proof was the last show to do decent in the time slot. ABC has scrolled through The Forgotten, Detroit 1-8-7, Lucky 7, Killer Women, Mind Games, and Forever with no ratings luck. I think this has potential to take some ratings love back, however, if you’re show is doing baffo with millennials, just know you won’t be getting live ratings. Scream Queens is doing quite well in DVR and streaming, but close to abysmal on live TV. I could see it getting cancelled on Fox, but moving to Netflix for a 2nd season. That could be the case here, or it could become the juggernaut ABC needs. Let’s hope for the latter.

Overall: This bloody good show will have you hooked, but with bloody good comes lots of blood…so you’ve been warned. 4 out of 5 radio dedications

Wicked City premieres on Tuesday 10/27 on ABC.

(Side Note: You did not see a Dr. Ken review on the site because it was too awful to write about. 1 out of 5. RIP Cristela)