Perhaps the best thing you can say about the new ABC series “Killer Women” set in San Antonio and using a lot of Latino professionals is that its executive producer is Sofia Vergara.
The worst thing you can possibly say about a show being roundly ridiculed and panned by critics is that it doesn’t have Sofia Vergara in it.
And the ABC and producing big shots missed the perfect opportunity to use Vergara in “Killer Women’s” widely anticipated season premiere this week, having had the ideal spot in the opening scene in which a beautiful Latina struts down the aisle into a church wedding in a super-short red dress and red stilettos — and shoots the bride in he head.
That should have been Sofia, murdering the the bride and in that accent of hers killing us all later in the show, telling off star Tricia Helfer, “You’re just a spoiled beautiful gringa!”
If only the rest of the show’s dialog had been as good with Vergara shooting hilarious punchlines.
You get the impression critics would have then salivated over the show, as many of them say they expected –and wanted — “Killer Women” to have been a spoof, just up the humor alley from Vergara’s hit comedy “Modern Family.”
But maybe it’s enough to give credit to Vergara in using her clout as one of Hollywood’s most popular stars just to get this series made on network television.
It raises the question of whether Vergara isn’t now the most powerful Latina in Hollywood, surpassing Eva Longoria who seems to have used her clout gained from starring in the ABC series “Desperate Housewives” most successfully for humanitarian and political causes.
But it’s Vergara who has been the top-earning actress on U.S. television In 2012 and 2013. In her “Modern Family” role of Gloria Delgado-Pritchett, the Colombian actress has been nominated for four Golden Globe Awards, four Primetime Emmy Awards, and seven Screen Actors Guild Awards.
Sofia Vergara’s ‘Killer Women’ adaptation
Now “Killer Women” is part of ABC’s “expanding relationship” with Vergara, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
And what few have acknowledged is that “Killer Women” is an adaptation of the Argentine series “Mujeres Asesinas,” which itself is based on the book trilogy of the same name by Marisa Grinstein.
Unfortunately, it’s hard to tell how long “Killer Women” will be around. In addition to getting mauled by the critics, it only had a short eight installment commitment, and it may need a lot rosaries and novenas to finish that out.
That’s bad for the smattering of Latino actors cast in the series that stars Helfer as knock-em-dead beauty queen-turned-Texas Ranger Molly Parker, who is tough on criminals but apparently couldn’t do much to keep her estranged husband from abusing her.
The Latino lead in the show is Alex Fernandez portraying a San Antonio police detective who seems to have jumped to the wrong conclusion in solving who was really behind the church wedding.
There are a few other Hispanic actors in smaller roles. It’s supposed to be heavily Hispanic San Antonio, after all, though the series is shot in Albuquerque.
Those actors include guest star Nadine Velazquez, the shooter of the bride, who did it against her will because a Mexican drug cartel had kidnapped her daughter and mother.
The cartels, for crying out loud. How predictive uncreative. They should have made it the Mexican Mafia, some crooked Texas gringo politician or even Cylons, which is a running joke among a few reviewers who remember Tricia Helfer from the humanoid Cylon Number Six of the re-imagined “Battlestar Galactica” TV series, as well as Cylon fighter Michael Trucco who plays Helfer’s “Killer Women” brother Billy.
Of course, the “Battlestar Galactica” alum they should have also cast is Edward James Olmos, a tough Latino cop if ever, if you remember him as Lt. Castillo on the 1980s “Miami Vice” series.
For the show needs more than the drop dead gorgeous Tricia Helfer – it’s hard to take your eyes off her when she’s onscreen – starting with better dialog and better writing.
You have to wonder how some of these TV writers and directors ever got to where they are with big-time representation when they turn out something with as much potential into something shoddy like this – and will keep on going to the bank.
Talk about needing a red-hot Latina walking down some aisle for some mercy killings, if murder were allowed. Or just sending them to writer’s jail.
You also have to ask if Sofia Vergara, the current darling of the network right now, was just being used – her Hollywood power and her Latinaness – to produce something that, like the critics seem to universally say, would have been better as a spoof, Cylons or no Cylons.