From bad to worse: Mob drama ‘Red Widow’ becomes latest disappointment for ABC

ABC seems to be having a hard time with its new shows. “Don’t Trust the B—- in Apartment 23,” “Body of Proof,” “Zero Hour” (called it!), “Happy Endings,” “666 Park Avenue,” “Malibu Country” and “Last Resort” are either certain or likely to be canceled by May.

Now add to the list ABC’s brand-new mob show, “Red Widow.”

The show has it all — stay-at-home moms turned drug-pushers, a Russian mob family, impromptu shootings and more. So why is it that the new show received premiere ratings that equaled those of “Zero Hour”?

“Red Widow” is a suspenseful mob-drama that follows the life of California housewife Marta Walraven. Marta is forced into an immediate transformation after she has no choice but to take over her recently murdered husband’s drug trafficking business.

The past four episodes focus on Marta’s struggle to balance her duties as a mom with managing the business. Within the course of a few weeks, Marta has begun to understand what being “in the game” truly means, especially when she witnesses her employee’s shooting.

Various critics argue that while “Red Widow” is good in theory — it has family drama on top of all of the mob drama — in reality, it has too much going on. The show threw a lot of information at us all at once and without much warning.

Within the pilot, we learn Marta’s husband, Evan, is involved in the drug dealing business, the entire family is involved with the Russian mob and Evan is in serious trouble after his partner stole cocaine from his biggest rival, Nicolae Schiller.

In addition, Evan’s murder – which might have been the most suspenseful part of the pilot – was done so quickly, viewers barely had time to register what happened.

Los Angeles Times television critic Mary McNamara argues the show tries too hard to balance Marta’s innocence with the fact that being in the mob is in her blood. Viewers are having a hard time sympathizing with Marta because she is not yet having much trouble adjusting to the life of a mobster.

Perhaps if there was more dialogue centering on Marta’s hesitancy to be a part of the drug circle, we would become more invested in Marta’s cause, and care enough to traverse this journey with her.

Hey, not all mob shows have the same potential as “The Sopranos,” but why not give it a chance? Save this show from getting the ax and check it out.


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