Surreal, slow 'Briarpatch' debuts on USA

Tuesday, 04 February 2020 12:00 AM Written by 



A slow-moving murder-mystery noir slathered with a topping of “Twin Peaks”-esque weirdness, "Briarpatch" (10 p.m. Thursday, USA) is a self-consciously strange series can’t quite settle on a tone. Sometimes absurdly funny, other times a little dull and draggy, “Briarpatch” is at least unlike the usual TV fare. What it is, though, is difficult to suss out in the first episode that introduces Allegra Dill (Rosario Dawson) as she returns to her Texas home town to investigate the murder of her sister.

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Based on the Ross Thomas novel of the same name with Sam Esmail (“Mr. Robot”) as an executive producer, “Briarpatch” was adapted for television by former TV critic Andy Greenwald.

“There's a lot of TV out there, and if you're going to ask people for their attention, especially for 10 hours, you want to make it worth their while and you want to give people something worth looking at,” Mr. Greenwald said at a USA press conference during the Television Critics Association winter 2020 press tour in January. “You want to try to show them something they haven't seen before or at least entertain them to the point where they forget they've seen it before. And so that was very crucial from the beginning.”


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