Given The CW’s reliance on superhero shows and generally upbeat soaps, "In the Dark" (9 p.m. Thursday), about a depressive, hard-living, often rude blind woman really is a risk. Whether it was one worth taking may vary by viewer.
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It’s welcome to see a blind person who is not a saint. Murphy (Perry Mattfeld) is every bit as messed up as plenty of other female anti-heroes we’ve seen (think: Holly Hunter on “Saving Grace” or Mary Louise Parker on “Weeds”). In this week’s pilot her self-induced misery is almost unrelenting although she begins to turn it around with the help of best friend/roommate Jess (Brooke Markham) and the love of her adoptive dad (Derek Webster) and the weary, I’m-trying-my-best support of her mom (Kathleen York, “Aaron’s Way”), who own a guide dog school.
Murphy finds her purpose when her teenage friend Tyson (Thamela Mpumlwana) goes missing; she believes he’s been murdered and starts investigating when the police ignore the case after they can’t find the body Murphy describes.
In episode two the tone lightens up a good bit – you can see network notes at work – and more typical CW storylines set in, including a romance with a bearded hunk (Casey Deidrick). This makes “In the Dark” more bearable but less unique.