Eye Candy - 1.01 - Pilot - Preview

Eye Candy premieres Monday, Jan. 12 on MTV at 10/9 C.

Jumping right into the action, Eye Candy starts with a kidnapping and doesn't let up the pace.  Don't let the silly name or network keep you from checking it out.  It breezes through the overabundance of exposition that sinks most pilots to establish the mood and intensity of the show right away.  They aren't worried about telling viewers everything but aim to hook them with suspense and thrills, letting back story slide into short segments that drive the story instead of hindering it.  In other words, it's my kind of show so far.  Since MTV graciously posted the first 20 minutes as a preview, you can check it out here and determine if it's your kind of show too.  The pilot is definitely what you see is what you get although the last 20 minutes are significantly creepier and ends on one heck of a twist.  (Hint:  Don't go to IMDb or you will spoil yourself like I did.)  If you like the preview, chances are you'll enjoy the rest of the show.  In many ways Eye Candy reminds me of Teen Wolf in a good way.  They are both on MTV and saddled with unfortunate names.  They are also both better than I ever expected them to be.  It also helps that Eye Candy's show runner, Christian Taylor, used to be a producer on Teen Wolf.  While the Eye Candy pilot didn't command my attention instantly like Teen Wolf did, it has an equal amount of action and is a strong start.  I strongly urge you not to judge the show by the network.  If you are into plot-driven mysteries that creep you out and raise the stakes, Eye Candy is worth trying. 

Loosely based on a novel by R. L. Stine, Eye Candy revolves around Lindy, a hacker extraordinaire, who three years earlier watched as her younger sister was kidnapped from a fast food joint.  Ever since then she's been on a crusade to find Sara through any means necessary, a crusade that lands her on probation for 6 months with an ankle monitor.  Her ex-boyfriend Ben, an undercover cop, put her there so he volunteers to be the one to remove it after her probation period is up to Lindy's annoyance.  While he tries to get her back, Lindy's best friend Sophia creates a profile for her on an online dating site called Flirtual to get her over Ben and celebrate her newfound freedom.  Lindy however is not fond of either plan as she's trying to help the mother of another missing woman, who is later found dead.    In the end Sophia wins by threatening to raise Lindy's rent if she doesn't go out and have fun.  What Lindy gets is 3 dates and a tech-savvy stalker driven to make her life a living hell in pursuit of a perfect match.  From threatening texts to using her own web camera against her, Lindy's stalker pursues her from the shadows.  But this time he picked the wrong victim because Lindy is determined to fight back no matter the consequences.

Why You Should Watch -

1.  The pacing - I can't stress enough how quickly this plot moves.  The kidnapping takes place in 4 minutes, the first murder is done in less than eight, and the stalker contacts Lindy before the halfway mark.  In fact, the ending would not be amiss in a season finale.  MTV dramas get pacing in an ADHD world.

2.  The twists - If I hadn't already spoiled myself, I would not have seen 1 thing coming and I was pleasantly surprised by another. 

3.  The thrills - If you like creepy, this show is for you.  It has the same vibe as Stalker but with bigger consequences.

4.  Lindy - While the show is definitely plot-driven, we learn enough about Lindy to be sympathetic to the character.  Lindy is a tough, independent, no-nonsense crusader unrelenting in her quest to get answers for victims' families when the police cannot.  She knows what it is like to live without knowing and instead of making her bitter, she's just that much more determined. 

Issues -

1.  Several of the actors are fairly new to the paid acting profession, which occasionally shows much in the same way that Stephen Amell struggled sometimes in season 1 of Arrow.

2.  Because it is a plot-driven show and it's only the pilot, some of the characters feel a little flat right now, which is to be expected.

Grade:  B
Audience - anyone who likes fast-paced, plot-driven shows

TV Formula:  Eye Candy = Stalker - (the douchey main character, slow start, and case of the week) + Criminal Minds' atmosphere + Teen Wolf's pacing and terrible name  + Sleepy Hollow's season 1 weekly cliffhangers

Best Reason to Watch - fast pace that doesn't get dragged down with much exposition for a pilot
Best Scene / Most Intense - Lindy watches her sister be taken
Best Twist - the ending
Best Life Tip - "Don't drink and date stalkers."
Best Character - Lindy, which is odd for me since I tend to like secondary characters best
Least Developed Character - Connor, who seems to only be there to snark at Lindy and look bored
Worst Person to Create a Nickname - Sophia chose Eye Candy as Lindy's username.  Nothing more needs to be said.
Coolest Entrance - the way into the club
Best Quotes -
"I'm living my life and a man doesn't define it." 
"The internet, God's gift to psychopaths."
"It'll take just one to show you the way."
"Too 'love me, stalk me, kill me'?"  "Not helping."
"We are so doomed as a generation."
"What I'm about to show you is not exactly legal?"  "Are you telling us so we won't be mad or so you won't go to jail?" 
"You bail and I increase your rent as penalty for living with a depressingly melancholy roommate."
"You're with a stalker.  You date stalkers now?"

Eye Candy premieres Monday, Jan. 12 on MTV at 10/9 C.

About the Author - Dahne
One part teacher librarian - one part avid TV fan, Dahne is a contributing writer for SpoilerTV, where she recaps, reviews, and creates polls for Sleepy Hollow, White Collar, Grimm, Teen Wolf, and others. She's addicted to Twitter, live tweets a multitude of shows each week, and co-hosts the Sleepy Hollow "Headless" and Teen Wolf "Welcome to Beacon Hills" podcasts for Southgate Media Group. Currently she writes a Last Week in TV column for her blog and SpoilerTV. ~ "I speak TV."
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Posted on January 10, 2015 .