Starring: James Wolk, Adrianne Palicki, Eloise Mumford, David Keith, Mark Deklin, Bryce Johnson, and Jon Voight
Created by Kyle Killen
Written by Kyle Killen, Directed by Marc Webb
Lone Star is an interesting new serial drama that takes place in the heart of Texas where bigger is always better. It follows the story of con man Bob Allen (James Wolk) living a double life. Trained by his father (David Keith), Bob has gone on to be an even better deceiver than his father. He has convinced many people to invest in oil rigs that don't exist as he's been stealing their money. Adding complexities to his life are two loves: a woman in Midland (Eloise Mumford) who he fell in love with as he was conning her family and friends and the daughter (Adrianne Palicki) of powerful Texas oil man Clint Thatcher (Jon Voight). When Bob finally gets offered a job in Thatcher's company (what he and his father have been working towards), he is having second thoughts about his life as a con man and he clearly believes he is in love with both women.
The plot line is strong and it pulls the viewer in right away when it shows in the opening scene that Bob is living a double life. The show has a lot of tangled webs right now that it will be able to work with but if it were to last awhile, it seems like it would be hard to sustain over a number of years. The dynamic between Bob and his father is particularly interesting. We get to see a dynamite "sales pitch" to a skeptical investor that illustrates just how good a con man Bob Allen is, but he's clearly tormented by a father who has always demanded that of him. It's a typical father-son dynamic in a unique profession. Wolk is instantly likable as the charismatic but conniving Bob Allen. From the first scene it's clear that he was a good choice to play someone charming enough to deceive everyone. Keith is equally strong as the demanding father. The two women in Bob's life aren't given a lot of time for character development in the pilot. Although Cat (Palicki) is a stronger character in the opener, Lindsay (Mumford) is the one who has a more promising storyline as she seems to be full of innocence. The tug and pull between the two will be an interesting storyline that can be played out many different ways. Jon Voight is rock solid as the oil tycoon who already seems to be a bit skeptical but also hopeful of Bob's role in his company. Cat's two brothers round out the Thatcher family and the already very skeptical Trammell (Mark Deklin) will be an interesting character in the coming episodes I would imagine.
It's a shame that Lone Star did not perform well in the ratings last night because it shows a lot of promise. It needs to avoid becoming melodramatic and came dangerously close in the gas station scene. It was at its best when it showed a personally conflicted Bob even as he was charming and confident in public (like at the block party scene in Midland). The characters are well-defined and it will be particularly interesting to see the character development of the women and the brothers in the weeks ahead... if it makes it that long. Let's hope it does.