A hideous and prolonged act of bloody violence is the scene that starts off a new Peacock mystery series positioned as comedic.
Specifically, the show -- titled “Based On A True Story” -- is described in Peacock promotional materials as a “dark, comedic thriller.”
Comedic? Tell that to the petite, young woman who is suddenly, and without any discernible provocation, stabbed to death in her apartment by a mysterious intruder clothed all in black.
Anyone who watches TV or goes to the movies knows how violent they can be. Over time, it is easy to become inured to it all.
Having said that, this scene stood out anyway for its sheer brutality. In the scene, the woman is working out in front of a virtual, workout mirror when the intruder walks up behind her and without a word plunges a huge knife into her back.
Understandably shocked, she turns around (or he turns her), at which point he plunges the knife into her over and over and over again right up to the hilt.
Soaked in her own blood, she eventually collapses dead on the floor. The scene ends with a close-up on her dead, open eyes, as a thick rivulet of blood rolls down her cheek.
If this is how the show begins, how exactly is it supposed to be comedic? When a network or streaming service promotes a show with a phrase such as “a dark, comedic thriller,” it seeks to have it both ways.
But here, the “dark” and the “comedic” did not really go together for me. One reason is: The show is about murder.
“Based On A True Story,” premiering Thursday, stars Kelly Cuoco (pictured above) as Ava, a suburban wife, mom and real estate agent who, like many today, is obsessed with true-crime stories and true-crime podcasts.
Her husband, Nathan (Chris Messina), is a one-time tennis star, who has worked for many years as the in-house pro at a tennis club until he suddenly experiences a career reversal.
She is struggling too. Five years into her profession as a realtor, Cuoco’s character is still low on the totem pole when it comes to high-end listings.
When previewing Episode One of “Based On A True Story,” I waited and waited for the parts that were supposed to be lighthearted.
What I got mostly was marital strife, a lot of f-words and a scene in which the Cuoco character fantasizes about getting a big bang from a male client she is showing around a house.
I realize that for many, these things do not present obstacles to enjoying a TV show. And many times, I can let them to go too.
This time, however, I guess I just wasn’t in that frame of mind. Maybe it comes from watching so many TV shows, but sometimes I just want to watch something nice instead of a show that sets its tone at the very outset with a scene of extreme violence.
“Based On A True Story” premieres on Thursday (June 8) on Peacock.