Well, the great experiment is over. CBS's attempt at a limited run murder mystery series, Harper's Island aired its finale this Saturday night. After premiering to low ratings, CBS banished the show to Saturday nights, but promised to air all the episodes so the few people who were tuning in could see the show's resolution.
Harper's Island worked well as summer series. The writing was never all that great, and the acting was kind of hit or miss, but it was cheesy fun and scary at places, so what else do you really need?
I even liked the conclusion of the show; the killer ended up being the not-really dead John Wakefield (who had previously gone on a killing rampage on the island years ago), but the big "surprise reveal" was that his accomplice was the groom Henry, portrayed by Christopher Gorham. I had kind of guessed that the other killer would be Henry, but it was still a nice reveal since there were other characters still in the running for the title of duplicitous psycho killer.
In the end, only four characters survived the series; one of which included the creepy little girl, Madison. She was annoying, so it would have been nice for her to get the literal axe, but this is a network television show, so I wasn't really expecting them to horribly murder a ten year old. I was pleasantly surprised that Jimmy, the main character's love interest, made it to the end since I'm a sucker for a good love story. Especially when the guy looks like a manlier Orlando Bloom.
While I enjoyed watching Harper's Island, there weren't that many memorable moments. Other than the deaths of Cal and Chloe (whom I went from hating to actually really liking...so well done on that writers), none of the murders were especially exciting or emotionally resonant. It was kind of surprising that Harry Hamlin got cut in half in the first episode, but otherwise, meh. And I'm still kind of confused by the motivation behind the murderers, but really, who cares. The show promised pretty people running around getting chopped into bits and it definitely delivered on that.
Overall, I give it a B-. The show did what it needed to do, had a satisfying conclusion, and provided plenty of eye candy. If you missed the show during it's run, check it out on DVD, I bet it plays well watching back to back.