Why I’m Hate-Watching ABC’s ‘The Catch’

abc the catch

Megan doesn’t like The Catch, but she can’t look away.

On paper, ABC’s The Catch has all of the elements of a great show.

One, it’s produced by Shonda Rhimes. Two, its plot has so much potential for sexy fun with a luminous private investigator (Mireille Enos, The Killing) tailing the fiance (Peter Krause, Six Feet Under) who stole millions from her.  And three, it’s created by Kate Atkinson whose book Life After Life left Gone Girl author Gillian Flynn dumbfounded, “There aren’t enough breathless adjectives to describe LIFE AFTER LIFE: Dazzling, witty, moving, joyful, mournful, profound.”

But easier said than done.

The Catch may be nestled in the Thank God It’s Thursday lineup, but it could just as easily be on a Tuesday. Or maybe even *gulp* a Friday.

What could be a post-feminism show about a woman getting revenge on the man that did her wrong ends up being about a mopey Mrs. Magoo-esque P.I. who’s frankly just not very good at her job. From the very first episode, we learn that Alice Vaughn (Enos) just got engaged to “Christopher” (Krause), and that she’s on the trail of the never-seen Mr. X (who also just happens to be “Christopher”). Mr. X is milling about a Los Angeles plaza, right in the open, but Alice never sees him. He even walks by her in a baseball cap and sunglasses (master of disguise).

A more accurate title for this show would be “The Catfish” because that appears to be EXACTLY what “Christopher” is doing to Alice. Yeah, you feel bad for her for about 15 minutes in “The Pilot,” until you learn that she’s kind of an idiot. Instead of paying attention to important Mr. X news at work, she gets caught in a daydream before exclaiming, “Christopher asked me to elope!” Women, huh? They don’t think about anything but men!

And Christopher’s marriage “proposal” isn’t actually a proposal. It’s the kind of exchange you’d cringe at if one of your girlfriends told you about it over drinks (“Alice, you in danger, girl“).

 

CHRISTOPHER

You ever want to get married?

ALICE

Yeah. In theory. I guess I just never met the right guy.

CHRISTOPHER

I’ll try not to take that personally.

ALICE

I wasn’t talking about you.

CHRISTOPHER

So if I were the right guy, you would marry me?

ALICE

No.

CHRISTOPHER

You wouldn’t?

ALICE

No, that’s not what I’m saying. What about you?

CHRISTOPHER

What about me?

ALICE

Would you?

CHRISTOPHER

Would I what?

ALICE

Marry me?

CHRISTOPHER

Did you just ask me to marry you?

ALICE

I guess. I’m sorry.

CHRISTOPHER

That’s all right. I just want to think about it.

 

After this flashback to the proposal, Alice exclaims to her colleagues, “I proposed to myself!” Yeah, duh! And over frozen yogurt in the park just like you always imagined it. And even worse, this bitch is so enamored with herself that she failed to see that in all the photos of her and Christopher, he’s CLEARLY covering up his face. So when she goes to track him, she doesn’t have a face to go on!

After Christopher goes missing with her millions in the pilot, the rest of the episode tries to explain why she’s still smart even though she was duped… like it could happen to anyone.

And yet, with virtually no training, just intuition, I feel like I am a better private investigator than her.

In the third episode titled “The Trial,” the crew has to go undercover at a lab in order to figure out why a particular drug trial is producing adverse side effects on multiple sclerosis patients. Just as Alice is about to be administered the drug, at the last second, she pulls out the IV, grabs it, and takes it to be tested. But then, as she’s leaving, the doctor says, “Don’t forget to take your orange juice.” While watching it, I thought, “Don’t do it. That’s probably how patients are receiving these side effects.” Whatdoyouknow, yes! Alice drinks it and starts experiencing blindness and loss of hand-eye coordination.

Also in this episode, in a flashback, Alice mistakes cute couple conversation for yet another marriage proposal.

 

CHRISTOPHER

How long have those two been married?

ALICE

Almost ten years.

CHRISTOPHER

If that’s what ten years of marriage looks like, I’ll take it.

ALICE

I’m sorry. Did you just agree to marry me?

CHRISTOPHER

I think I did.

 

Hmmm. No, he technically didn’t. He was just commenting that he hoped he looked that good after 10 years of marriage. You were never mentioned.

Alice reads into everything except real concrete details. Like don’t consume ANYTHING at a dangerous drug trial and then get in a car and go after your ex at a bar. This will only result in embarrassment (and it does).

So. . .why am I still watching this show?

Well, there’s something to be said about schadenfreude. Given that the premise of the show is that Alice is trying to catch her ex, you know she’s not going to do it any time soon. Otherwise, the show would not exist. It’s fun watching her fail and miss him, again and again, and even more so, the flashbacks that give all of the hints that he’s probably a skeez (you mean to tell me the ever-astute P.I. never flipped through her photos of him and wondered why HIS FACE WAS NEVER LOOKING AT THE CAMERA?).

I guess I watch because if I were Alice’s friend, we would have solved this issue months ago.

 

MEGAN

Do you ever notice how he always turns your conversations around?

ALICE

Hmmm. How so?

MEGAN

Well, you keep proposing to him. He never proposes to you.

ALICE

Whoah. I’ve been a private investigator for decades but never noticed that. You may be on to something.

MEGAN

Also, in all of your Facebook pics, he’s never looking at the camera.

ALICE

No shit. What do you make of that?

MEGAN

Probably has a wife and kids he doesn’t want you to know about.

(Beat.)

Did you also ever notice that he dresses like a ventriloquist without a dummy?

OK. So maybe I’m wrong with my wife-and-kids hypothesis, but I would have saved her MILLIONS of dollars.

What do you think of The Catch? Are you syncing with Megan’s thoughts? Are you hate-watching too? Sound off in the comments below!

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3 comments

  1. Avatar
    Li 4 years ago

    I’m watching it too. All the people are beautiful and well groomed…. Did you notice that? It reminds me of an updated Thomas Crown Affair type TV show, and I don’t know where it ends. I can’t see this show going beyond the 6 episodes ordered….but you never know?

    1. Avatar
      Mego 4 years ago

      Everyone is beautiful. Mireille Enos is gorgeous!

      1. Avatar
        Clarence Moye 4 years ago

        Artificially so, though. They’ve made her up to look like Meredith Grey.

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