Hidden Palms certainly starts with a bang with a gruesome fatality kicking proceedings off. But Kevin Williamson’s latest bash at teen drama after previous scripted glories such as Scream and Dawson’s Creek eventually fades to black with a whimper. Forced to move to Palm Springs with his glamorous mom and beefcake dad-in-law, young alcoholic Johnny (Taylor Handley) starts to hang out with some enigmatic yet glamorous screw-ups such as Greta (Amber Heard), who is prone to racing around a deserted park at night in a negligee, and Cliff (Michael Cassidy), who kicks dogs in the face for fun and possesses a creepy affability. The show’s mystery (or ultimate red herring) seems locked in this pair’s simmering relationship and the secret which they harbour about the kid whose room Johnny now inhabits. A kid who killed himself in that very room.
Did I say that everyone is unfeasibly glamorous? And that no one seems to do much all day besides lounging around the pool and looking all screwed up? Even in Twin Peaks, this show’s most obvious forerunner, most people had a job to hold down or leftfield hobby to occupy them. Still, to its credit, by the second episode’s closer, the story has hopped on with a marginally sinister cliffhanger; such spooky plot jumps may be the only way the show will maintain people’s attention. Note to Kev: there’s really no need to hammer home your point by swamping almost every single scene with a power pop post-grunge ballad. Or a bit of Coldplay. No need at all. (Brian Donaldson)
Sky One, Thu 4 Oct, 9pm