NBC’s “Deception” starring Meagan Good and Laz Alonso premiered last night and the first episode of the season didn’t disappoint. The drama series casts Meagan Good as undercover detective Joanna Lacasto, who is approached by NYPD detective and former lover Will Moreno (Laz Alonso) to solve the murder case of her slain childhood friend and wealthy tabloid covergirl, Vivian Bowers. To uncover the mystery, Meagan must wear a wire tap and pose as a visitor in her late friend’s family’s home. The first episode was suspenseful, steamy and full of twists and turns.
Here are five reasons we loved it:
-There’s a black female lead.
Meagan Good joins a short list (including Kerry Washington) of black female lead of primetime shows. Before Washington and Good, there hadn’t been a lead in 38 years. It’s great to see networks casting capable black actresses in the starring roles.
-We get to see Meagan Good out of her element.
It’s far too easy for a black actress to fall victim to Hollywood type casting. Before “Deception,” Meagan Good seemed to always occupy the role of the hyper-sexualized vixen (“Jumping The Broom” and “Think Like A Man” are recent examples). It’s good to see Good flex her acting chops for “Deception” as a shrewd detective and as a friend in mourning.
-The Chemistry Between Good and Alonzo
Though Good’s character, Joanna Lacasto, is much more than a vixen, she does make time for romance with Will Moreno (Laz Alonzo). The former lovers have sizzling chemistry and intense sexual tension that makes for great interaction between the actors.
Meagan Good held her own as the lead character in the first episode, seamlessly going from detective to friend in mourning to scared houseguest to confused lover. Her performance is heightened by superb acting from supporting characters, including Vivian’s older brother and stepmother, who deliver the episode’s most memorable lines.
-The Juicy Plot
It was slow in the beginning but the plot picked up toward the end of the episode where several lies about Vivian’s past are uncovered and we learn just how dangerous the family really is. Though fascinating, many argue the plot could be enhanced by delving deeper into issues of race and class instead of sidestepping them; Lacasto is the daughter of the wealthy Bowers’ family’s former maid but the differences in her and Vivian’s race and class aren’t sufficiently addressed. Perhaps those issues will be developed further as the season progresses.