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A soapy mystery from writer-producer Liz Heldens, who earlier created NBC’s “Mercy,” “Deception” follows a sexy young cop who goes undercover for the FBI to solve the murder of the pharmaceutical heiress who was once her closest friend.

“Deception” stars Meagan Goode (“Brick,” “Saw V”) and “Argo” vets Victor Garber (“Alias”) and Tate Donovan (“Damages,” “Argo”).

Critics are comparing “Deception” to ABC’s “Revenge” and “Dirty Sexy Money” and Cinemax’s “Hunted,” all of which are also about infiltrating the ranks of the depraved superwealthy.

It reminded me very slightly of the much, much better “Veronica Mars,” which also dealt with a middle-class girl looking into the grisly murder of her heiress best friend.

It’s a bad show. The pilot is charmless and eye-rollingly silly, plus thick with tedious, ridiculous characters, dialogue and incident. No character sillier than the dead girl’s relentlessly evil stepmother.

Don’t forget: “Spaghetti4.”

The New York Times says:

... if you like what “Revenge” has become in Season 2, with the sort of round-and-round plot machinations that never really get anywhere, then “Deception” is for you. But you’ll also have to like moldy stereotypes about rich people, because the Bowers family is one big multigenerational cliché. …

The Los Angeles Times says:

... "Deception," in trying for something more "real" and not quite getting there, feels fake. There is little chemistry between the people who are supposed to have it. …

The San Francisco Chronicle says:

... The writing (Heldens and Peter Elkoff) is atrocious, the direction (Peter Horton and Jonas Pate) slow and flabby, and the performances run the gamut from sad to just adequate, but even proven actors like Garber couldn't make us care about any of this. …

The Washington Post says:

... settle in for what’s sure to be a bumpy, semi-compelling and sometimes unintentionally humorous ride. …

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette says:

... NBC's pretty terrible "Deception" seems like a play for fans of "Revenge," which itself has declined in quality in its second season. Even so, "Deception" is a significantly less appealing series because it relies almost entirely on unbelievable plot turns. …

The Boston Globe says:

... just an unspooling of murder-mystery clichés, scene-to-scene logic problems, and characters who are bland and far from intriguing. …

USA Today says:

... We're ready and willing to be deceived. We just expect you to work harder and better than this.

Variety says:

... doesn't quite rise to that guilty-pleasure level. …

10 p.m. Monday. NBC.



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