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Sweet Jesus, I hated this. After about the second episode, I mentally checked out. I cared about precisely no one. What a nasty little enclave of freaks. Did anyone live there who wasn’t hiding a secret or willing to commit crimes on a whim? That place was ground zero for assholes.

There were so many conveniences and contrivances that my eyes got sore from rolling them.

So, a small group of kids burned down a school and inadvertently killed 8 other kids. As adults, almost all of them live on the same small ritzy gated community? Really?

So, a teen girl reads her dead mother's journal and decides to Nancy Drew some mystery "event" mentioned there. She visits her mother's neighbour who was mentioned in the journal. Said neighbour oh-so-conveniently is an epic hoarder. Said neighbour conveniently retrieves a yearbook, which conveniently happens to be in a box in the same room where she's sitting with the daughter; the box also conveniently contains THE TAPE, which of course the daughter sees and steals the second she has an opportunity.

So, the daughter's boyfriend conveniently has access to a VHS player and they watch the tape TOGETHER. When she finds out that her mother and some childhood friends were involved in the fire, she decides to confront the surviving criminals because...reasons? I mean, if she wanted justice, why not go straight to the cops?

So, she decides to confront (?) Bobby, but tells her bf to not confront Sophie. They go to a party and I guess plan to meet Bobby afterward because...?

So, at the party, she conveniently finds something weird on her phone and conveniently knows a guy at school who can conveniently identify that a tracker is on her phone. She concludes it was her dad and is pissed.

So, the daughter can't find her boyfriend (guess she didn't even look in the backyard?) and so makes up some bullshit to her dad's friend to get a ride home. She then immediately proceeds to go to the bf's house to look for him (?!! did she think he left the party without her?) and when she can't find him, goes about her mission solo. She conveniently runs into the cop's ex-husband on the train platform and asks him to not say anything.

So, the daughter goes to the club with her fake i.d. which she got from some dude off Facebook or something and ends up not being able to speak to Bobby. Instead of going home, she...goes to the hoarder neighbour and stays there? Without even sending a basic decency text to her father? Or returning any of his increasingly frantic phone calls? FOR DAYS?!? Fuck this bitch, man. WHO BEHAVES THIS WAY?

And the 'fuck off with this shit' behaviour and contrivances are not limited to the daughter.

I'm supposed to accept that:

- Sophie conveniently decides to go the party to drag her son home and goes to the backyard. Because...? And there she conveniently runs into the ONLY party goer who is outside. At a home which has a pool. Really? And of course it's the bf who knows her secret. Bf is of course pissed at the hypocrisy and decides to be a dumbass shit and confront Sophie about what he knows. And then, in keeping with the dumbassery, threatens her. She kills him. No one sees or hears anything. She leaves, dripping wet, and no one sees or hears anything. At no time in the next week does she miss her necklace.

- Tom conveniently knew a tech expert who could install spyware on the daughter’s phone. Said expert is also conveniently available whenever Tom calls. Honestly, had the dude not answered his phone and identified that Jenny was using her phone on the home wifi, that lead would have been utterly lost.

- Tom (and occasionally Pete) decide to play coppers and proceed to spend most of the next week interrogating suspects, trespassing, breaking and entering, assault, intimidation, theft...etc. Jobs? What jobs? Sophie, a cop, warns him off a billion times instead of charging him. If it had been any other person, she'd have probably arrested them.

- new cop approaches Pete all “I’m your daughter” and he totally accepts it and is delighted. I get that I’m supposed to attribute that to his loyal and loving nature, but I mean…really? She name drops an ex-girlfriend of his and that’s all the proof he needs?

- I'm supposed to believe that Sia's parents (well, mainly the father) were so worried about Sia getting in trouble for selling drugs (again? and gee, maybe the cow needs a consequence or two, hmm?) that they chose to hide a dead body, stuff it in a freezer, and then eventually wrap it up and dump it in a lake. But before dumping the body, they warmed it up enough to use his thumb to unlock his phone to post fake Facebook updates to make people think he’s still alive. They give the most ridiculous, easily disproven confession of all time, putting themselves in even hotter water. WHO BEHAVES THIS WAY?

- I'm supposed to believe that a husband upset about his wife's affair planted fake docs in his wife's locker and then anonymously tipped off the authorities? WHO BEHAVES THIS WAY?

-  a community centre kept a dead woman’s office like a shrine after she died instead of…you know…emptying it out like normal people would do. They allowed her daughters to come and…hang out among their dead mother’s things? Like, what the actual fuck? WHO BEHAVES THIS WAY?

I just...it's too much. What a fucking mess.

I figured Sophie wasn’t one of the good guys. Because every episode followed the same basic pattern: “focus on x character. Make them act suspicious. Absolve them of the murder.” The only people who didn’t seem to get this treatment were Jenny and Chris’ siblings…and the cops. And since the head cop was romantically involved with Tom, it wasn’t at all a stretch to assume she was involved.

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Jenny couldn't reach her father at the time of her mother's death, and we can probably presume he came home smelling like alcohol.  Then shortly after her death, Jenny's dad is clearly sleeping with the neighbor who happened to be Rachel's very good friend.  And then she finds that he is spying on her, while he is the one misbehaving (at least in her mind)  So I can actually buy the idea that she doesn't go to her father or want to be around him.  That feels reasonable for a hurting teenager. 

The kids not out by the pool- I'll buy it- they needed to keep the noise level down so the party wouldn't get broken up.

Jenny wants to confront the people in the video.  I'll buy this.  It wasn't really teased out in the show, but her mom was one of them, and she was obviously quite safe with her mom.  And Sophie.  So she thinks she's safe, and wants to talk to these people, probably so that they can tell her it didn't happen the way she thinks, because she loved her mother.

Where I must really work to suspend the disbelief- that Sophie, Helen and Rachel all grow up and buy houses in row, which is pretty weird anyway, but then Jenny has to introduce herself to her next door neighbor Helen and explain who she is.  The houses are about 15 steps apart- close enough to use her home wifi.  Either gratuitously keep them all together in the SAFE community or separate them and have Jenny meet them all for the first time, but you can't put them next door and have them never see each other before.  It makes no sense.

Everything Sia's family did was completely wacky, and I'm willing to suspend belief on all of that.  But, I can't accept that the detective didn't notice her pendant was gone and instantly worry that it was left at the scene of the violent crime she committed.

The whole plotline where Zoe's husband plants evidence about her but then loves her after all is weird.  But I'll suspend disbelief on that.  Where I can't, is that this family and way worse, Jenny's dad, keep leaving their younger children alone or with others, even though we have missing and dead children in the neighborhood and more specifically in their own families.  Who wouldn't be watching the remaining children much more closely?

And finally, Sophie sitting with Jenny while Bobby holds the gun and approaches her was absurd.  He had plenty of time to get to Zoe and hurt her or kill her, and it was only sheer luck and plot manipulation that Jenny's dad made it there in time to save her. 

Overall, it was a decent series- interesting and edgy.  I liked it in spite of the above.

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On 6/1/2018 at 12:55 PM, AZChristian said:

I liked the show, but there were a couple of glaring inconsistencies that distracted me.  Supposedly, this kid drowned in a COLD swimming pool, was laid out on the deck for several hours, was stuffed into a freezer for a day or so . . . but they can do an autopsy and tell you that he died between 10:30 and 11:00 pm several days before, so they know that the father who confessed was lying . . . because he was seen on camera 90 miles away around 12:15?

I don't think so.

That one ticked me off as well. From my extensive forensic knowledge from CSI and Midsummer Murders, they would not have been able to pinpoint the time like that. Oh well. 

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