Not ‘Mr. Robot’: Everything about Sam Esmail’s ‘Briarpatch’
Sam Esmail’s Briarpatch is a stark contrast from Mr. Robot, which he also executive produces. Stylistic and pulpy, Briarpatch is bright where Mr. Robot is gray. Although both highlight Esmail’s storytelling prowess, Briarpatch manages to tell a gritty story while avoiding a grim backdrop. The trailer had us intrigued immediately:
Briarpatch: a murderous palate cleanser
Sliding in behind USA Network’s second most popular show, The Sinner, Briarpatch is a breath of fresh air after the intensely disturbing (and amazing) psychological thriller. Full of dark humor and quirky elements, like a town overrun with exotic zoo animals, Briarpatch’s backdrop is bright, but there’s no doubt that something’s not right here.
Rosario Dawson (Rent, Sin City) stars as Allegra Dill, who left her small Texas town of San Bonifacio to pursue a career as an investigator for a senate subcommittee.
Allegra returns to San Bonifacio to solve the murder of her sister, a local police officer who was killed when a bomb left in her car exploded. The town isn’t lacking in suspects, with a roster full of miscreant characters that include the local police force.
Briarpatch is an easy watch, especially for those who choose to watch it in its designated time slot after The Sinner. Sporting an eclectic cast of characters that we instantly need to know more about, Dawson leads the charge in a group that’s intriguing and dynamic.
Featuring Jay R. Ferguson as Jake Spivey, an old friend of Allegra’s, Edi Gathegi as lawyer A.D. Singe who may know more than he lets on; as well as Brian Geraghty as Captain Gene Colder and Kim Dickens as Eve Raytek, both serving as potentially shady law enforcement. The beautifully nuanced Alan Cumming makes an appearance as a corrupt character Clyde Brattle, who’s full of all sorts of trouble, and the great Ed Asner as the crusty owner of the town newspaper.
What are the rest of the dirty details?
Based on a novel by Ross Thomas, Briarpatch was developed for TV by Andy Greenwald, a TV critic-turned-showrunner and writer. Adding another anthology to USA Network’s lineup, the suddenly hot TV format. This first season is a close-ended 10-episode tale.
Briarpatch premieres at 10 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 6, on the USA Network.