Past and present unite in new Melrose

The premiere of last week unleashed a two-sided plot, appealing to both a drama-oriented audience as well as to the fans of convoluted mysteries and twists. The characters seem to be driven by sky-high ambitions, and as for reaching to the top, morale is an unknown territory.

The show delves into the lives of seven incredible characters, each with his or her story to tell. There is compelling suspense, fashioned by a sense of total ambiguity in the identity of Sydney’s (played by Laura Leighton) murderer.

The “you can’t put your finger on it” melodrama is what evokes the thrill that keeps you musing until the end. What’s interesting, however, is the fact that the “suspects” seem to have their own reasons for wanting Sydney out of the way.

It’s the pivotal and power-drunk persona of Sydney, which points out the grandeur of her control over other characters’ lives.

In a sort of hackneyed style, Hollywood’s reality is also set forth in the show through the million-fold underlying dirty tricks of achieving one’s goals. Pride and dignity truly seem to be meaningless when a struggling photographer, Jonah (played by Michael Rady), has no other option but to give in to a deal where his short film is directed only out of fear that he might spill a secret about the very director, throwing his filmmaking talent and ability far from any recognition.

On the other end, an aspiring doctor, Lauren (played by Stephanie Jacobsen), agrees to sleep with a man out of downright desperation for money to pay for medical school. It’s the scruples of these characters that leave a touch of reality in the show, right in the face of viewers laying ethics on a pedestal.

However, if you thought these were the only striking elements presented by the show, wait until complex relationship triangles unfold in the form of an almost Greek tragedy type drama, with the trio of Michael (played by Thomas Calabro), his son David (played by Shawn Sipos) and the ever-influential Sydney.

Sydney being a common lover of both the father and the son seems almost unreal to digest at first. However, when her persuasive personality is assessed, and it is only leveraged by her ways of blackmailing and threatening David to get back with her.

And guess what? The saga of love conundrums doesn’t stop here. Ella (played by Katie Cassidy), is a publicity agent for Jonah and also seems to be falling for David to the point of turning him against his girlfriend, Riley (played by Jessica Lucas), who is reluctant to marry Jonah out of the doubt that he is not mature enough.

Although this might suggest an instance of sanity and gravity in relationships, the show twists the whole idea at the end when Ella’s orientation is revealed, in the form of her kissing a girl at a bar. Needless to say, the show renders relationships for pure pleasure and fun, discarding any significance.

Overall, the characters hold a duality, and a somewhat slick personality, which gives all the more reason to watch the show.

Violet (played by singer-songwriter Ashlee Simpson), who only recently arrives in Los Angeles, is shown to behave in a sort of eccentric way, and with her comment to Lauren, “We’re good girls,” she drops a hint for the viewers to look beyond what appears. Not to mention, with a clip of Sydney threatening to evict Ella and to ruin her career soon before her murder, another suspicion presents itself.

Even simple and innocent characters seem to be out of line when it comes to achieving their goals, and that’s another dismissal at the trustworthiness of any of the characters.

“Fair is Foul, Foul is Fair,” can most certainly be a slogan for the storyline of the show. In essence, if you’re into a plot with a fair deal of dramatic experience and a largely suspense-packed, gripping sequence of events, is the show for you.