'In the Dark' places Perry Mattfeld's Murphy as the anti-hero we want to see more of
Everyone truly believes there's no hope for her in life, until Murphy stumbles on a dead body on a walk with her guide dog Pretzel.
If you haven't caught up with CW's latest offering 'In the Dark', you're really missing out. Not only does the series take the opportunity to shed some serious light on the day to day lives of people living with blindness but it also manages to do one more thing - give us a kickass anti-hero, front and center, trying very hard to get her life together.
When you first hear the premise of 'In the Dark', you don't really know what to expect. It sets the scene for a mix of drama, mystery and snarky quips that involves a blind, alcoholic, irresponsible to the tee heroine whose life is turned upside down one day. But, once you're into about 20 minutes of the episode, it becomes clear what this is all about - it's a story about coming of age, about finding your voice and fighting for a friend against all odds.
The premiere takes you through a pretty fast-paced story of Murphy and her life. She's the daughter of a family who trains guide dogs for a living and she works at her parent's institution - well, barely works. If she isn't taking naps then she's eating candies, if you really want to get down to details. Everyone truly believes there's no hope for her in life and until Murphy stumbles on a dead body on a walk with her guide dog Pretzel, you would believe it too. The body, Murphy believes, belongs to her 15-year-old friend Tyson. But when the cops investigate, there's no body to be found. She sets off on a wild goose chase to find out what happened to Ty.
While the murder mystery is yet to unfold what really stands out about the show's premiere is the way it plays around with the emotions of pity, "heightened senses" and general insensitivity that most people have towards people living with blindness. In sharp contrast is Perry Mattfeld's Murphy, who rebels against everything and refuses to take this sitting down.
It feels like she compensates for her sight with her humor, almost as though she somehow doesn't feel whole enough. Underneath the hard exterior is a kind heart and the premiere is building to the rest of the season, which will probably show us that. Some may find this predictable, but to be honest, I don't think that 'In the Dark' is trying to be unpredictable and edgy - it's just trying to tell a story as best as it can.
While some may have an issue with the fact that Mattfeld isn't actually blind and that there are multiple blind talents in Hollywood looking for an opportunity, it would be wrong to say she doesn't do a good job. Perry is believable and pretty spot on and her range of emotions on screen, from acid-tongued to vulnerable and helpless is moving.
Catch the second episode of 'In the dark' on Thursday, April 11, 9/8c on The CW