Logline: Centers on a prominent Boston family that is attempting to redefine itself in the wake of a chilling discovery that links their recently deceased patriarch to a string of murders spanning decades — amid the mounting suspicion that one of them may have been his accomplice.
Cast: Justin Chatwin, Megan Ketch
Creators: Corinne Brinkerhoff (Writer / EP), James Frey (EP), Justin Falvey (EP), Darryl Frank (EP)
Studios: CBS TV Studios, Amblin TV
Set in Boston, American Gothic takes us into the lives of the influential Hawthorne family. As one of the Hawthorne daughters runs for mayor, the family discovers that one among them might be a serial killer. This is by far the strongest premise on CBS’ plate this year.
This one’s going straight to series this summer, so I’ll be quick about. The Hawthorne family is large: mother, father, two daughters, two sons, three among them partnered. It’s no easy task to establish crisp, easily distinguishable personalities, but Brinkerhoff is certainly up for the challenge. Unlike Four Stars, American Gothic creates a family that we’d be happy to root for and root against, as the situation demands.
Along with MacGyver and Training Day, this is one of the few CBS pilots with really effective cliffhangers. Though you see some of them coming from a mile away, they’re still incredibly effective.
Stellar cast, great writing, well-delineated characters, conflict-ridden relationships, and an intriguing central mystery – there’s really no reason to not return for the second episode.