I’ll just get this out of the way: My biggest complaint about Impostors, which is that there are unnecessarily ham-fisted references to Something Wild and The Grifters.
Yep. Otherwise, this dark comedy, starring Inbar Levi and Rob Heaps (with Uma Thurman as a multi-episode guest star) is pretty intriguing. The premise: Ezra Bloom (Heaps) works in his parents’ business and is recently and blissfully married to Eva (Levi). Or, he was: The pilot opens on Heaps, looking defeated, with an extension-cord noose around his neck, when someone starts pounding on the door yelling, “FBI! Open up!”
There are a series of flashbacks—long story short, he’s wildly in love with this woman, and one day he comes home to find she’s robbed him blind and disappeared, leaving incriminating information about Ezra’s father as a deterrent to Ezra trying to find her. Betrayed and despondent, he eventually decides he’s going to end it. So, guess what? The guy at the door isn’t an FBI agent. He’s Eva’s other husband. Or was. Before she took him to the cleaners and vanished.
The episodes cut between the band of grifters—the runaway bride and her two wingpersons—as they’re assigned to a new target in Seattle, and Ezra and his unlikely wingman, Rob (Parker Young), who are trying to find her, though possibly each has a different motive. In Seattle, Maddie (Eva’s real name, as far as we know) and her cohorts are hard at work on their next mark, a defensive and difficult banker. Maddie’s successfully softening the guy up, which is no small task. Then she meets a total dreamboat in a coffee shop and things start to get complicated. Meanwhile, on the road to find and confront Maddie, Ezra and Rob, who are broke, start learning a little bit about con artistry themselves.
Let’s just say that so far, everyone’s found out a whole lot of stuff; some of it about each other and a lot about themselves. And, as if things haven’t gotten complicated enough, the shadowy “doctor” who assigns the marks has become aware that Maddie might be personally interested in the coffee shop hottie (who wouldn’t be? It’s Stephen Bishop) and, fearing it might compromise the con, has sent in the muscle to take care of it: a stone-cold, quick-witted woman named Lenny Cohen (Thurman).
There are a few weak spots. While I like the odd-couple factor of meathead car salesman Rob and sensitive Ezra, there are times when their rapport feels like it doesn’t develop enough, quickly enough; it becomes tedious a couple of times. I also found myself wondering how a guy like Rob was able to find Ezra in the first place (maybe we find out later?). Plus, and your mileage may vary, I just found Ezra’s wounded baby bird thing much more interesting than Rob’s gone-to-seed quarterback thing.
Individual performances: I don’t think any of these guys hit a sour note in the first three episodes. Parker Young is great and I adore Rob Heaps’ performance. Inbar Levi flirts with being a teensy bit over the top in some scenes, but she pulls it off. We don’t see Thurman until the end of the third episode, but it’s quite an entrance. There’s a terrific mixture of comedy and not-that-funny personal exploration. Maddie’s dilemma—knowing that if she lets herself open up to Patrick, who’s almost as too-good-to-be-true as she is, she risks exposing him to a visit from Lenny—is just beginning to flower by the third episode; I’m curious, because as a plot line it’s pretty obvious, but it’s going to be fun to find out whether this woman does in fact have a soul.
If you like dark comedies with a dash of slapstick and a lot of satisfying twists and turns, tune in. I’m definitely looking forward to seeing where this is going.
Imposters premieres tonight at 10:00 p.m. on Bravo.