Not All is Quiet in Suburbia- A Review of ABC's The Gates- Episode 1

Samm June 23, 2010 2 Comments »

Sunday marked the series premiere of ABC’s new summer smash The Gates. The pilot was met with both praise and criticism from many reviewers, so I decided to see for myself what the buzz was all about.

The premise is simple: a gated community seemingly idealistic from the outside is meant more to keep the residents in then it is to keep the rest of the world out. The Gates explores the sociological aspect of what would happen if these supernatural beings really existed and how would they fit in with society. Some critics have called it Desperate Housewives meets Twilight and to an extent they’re correct. Where the analogy fails is in the camp.

The Gates seems to recognize the melodrama and camp that goes along with its premise. How could they not? What’s more, The Gates not only accepts the camp, they embrace it. You have a werewolf on the football team (can we say “unfair advantage?”), a vampire struggling with “cravings,” and two witches bickering over how they use their powers. While The Gates may hide its residents’ supernatural tendencies from some of the characters, it lets the audience know from the very beginning that something is very strange in suburbia.

Though the characters are pretty basic after the first episode, there seems to be a lot of material to work with. One example is Rhona Mitra’s character, Claire Radcliff. In the first episode we get to know a lot about Claire and how she struggles internally with her “addiction” while balancing PTA meetings, book clubs, and her other “duties” as a housewife. It will be interesting to see where how this character develops over the next few episodes.

For the Vampire Diaries and standard Twilight crowd, there’s a completely separate yet parallel storyline running amongst the children of The Gates. You’ve got love triangles, whiny teen angst, social awkwardness, and everything else that comes with high school all rolled up into a neat little package sprinkled with some very attractive werewolves. The school is sure to house some other supernatural secrets that the viewers don’t know about yet!

Reports have said that The Gates will have more than just vampires, werewolves and witches. Can we hope for zombies, maybe a Big Foot or a swamp monster disguised as a teen with a skin condition? This Space Gypsy has her fingers crossed! I’m definitely looking forward to the next episode!

I give it 3 out of 5 wagons.

If you haven’t seen it, be sure to check out the pilot episode of The Gates ABC has generously posted it HERE.

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  1. GreenEggsNSammNo Gravatar June 23, 2010 at 11:49 am -

    Unfortunately Hulu stats don’t qualify in the Nelson ratings. Only live watching or DVRs watched within the first 3 days of airing count. They really need to include Hulu. They’re missing out on a large demographic. Though if you watch it at instead of Hulu, ABC will notice!

  2. TiaraLaNo Gravatar June 23, 2010 at 11:46 am -

    I was actually pleasantly surprised by The Gates!! While I squick at the whole vampire sunscreen thing (yeah, yeah, Mr. Ratcliffe owns a “biotech” company), by the end of the episode I was left really intrigued. I’m not one to watch tv on Sunday nights, so I’m hoping they consider the Hulu stats in the ratings! I’m in for at least a couple episodes!