In Which Marriage Remains Not Quite As Sweet As You Think

Just Another Apple User

by ETHAN PETERSON

Imposters
creators Paul Adelstein & Adam Brooks
Bravo

Despite having been bilked out of his life savings by a disingenuous American woman named Saffron (Inbar Lavi), things are still pretty great for Ezra (Rob Heaps). For one, he does not appear to have much in the way of life savings, as much of his wealth is the wealth of his parents who run some kind of business. Ezra’s bullshit detector should have been ringing loud and clear when a purported waitress from Belgium agreed to convert to Judaism, but for some reason he felt this was par for the course. He’d had a wonderful life.

After Saffron leaves, Ezra meets Richard (Parker Young), who looks almost exactly like him. This is partly because neither actor is in, fact, Jewish, which is a very hurtful casting choice. You will spend a lot of time trying to tell Ezra and Richard apart, although the key can be found in Ezra’s questionable American accent, which slips into British inflection from time-to-time. In the pilot episode of Imposters, Ezra attempts to kill himself with an extension cord after trying to put his head in an oven. He succeeds at neither enterprise, which weirdly makes us loathe him even more. What kind of man sees his marriage fall apart and becomes even less sympathetic? The man with the cringey name of Ezra Bloom.

This is cannily done by creators Paul Adelstein and Adam Brooks, since if Saffron really was a monster, then they couldn’t spend all her scenes putting this attractive Israeli-American actress in a series of less likely outfits. “She’s just doing her job,” Imposters convinces us to think, since the show is not really interested in the victims of crime, who all share a similar (boring) psychological profile exposing their own weakness and vanity. The imposters themselves are the focus here, led by a woman named Lenny Cohen (Uma Thurman).

Victims, according to Imposters, do not really lose much that is not already missing. This is completely fucked up, but what else would you expect from Bravo? After Ezra finds his wife gone, he plans to call the police so he can rescue her from her captors before he views the message she has left for him. It is super-apologetic and very nice overall, thanking him for their time together and asking that he not try to find her. It was a great deal more kind than any break-up I have ever had.

Instead of taking his wife’s well-meant advice, Ezra completely self-destructs. He gets increasingly drunk and tries to convince his friend Gaby (Megan Park) to adopt a Belgian accent during intercourse, since it is the only way he can really get turned on now. Shortly thereafter he finds out that Saffron had engaged a third victim, a woman named Jules (Marianne Rendon), to whom she was also married. The badinage between these three people is enough to make even Lorelai Gilmore take a nap.

Jules lives in the most magical apartment I have ever personally witnessed. Eventually, Imposters means us to conclude that Saffron and her group of con artists only target people with such astronomical sources of revenue that it would be hard to feel any concern for them at all. How would they even miss the loss of income? Even the emotional damage, we are led to believe, is considerably less. Wasn’t Saffron sort of well-meaning in how she broke these people’s hearts?

First the Bravo Network ruined the entire concept of divorce, which I had so much faith in up until now. Now they purport to implode the entire premise of human emotions and trust in general. These are deeply cynical, awful television executives, and it somehow makes it so much worse than they have cast these extremely beautiful and kind actresses in the roles of villains. The only time I ever really hated Uma Thurman was when she was intimate with Quentin Tarantino.

Watching Ms. Lavi perform Saffron’s various roles, including the cuckold of an asshole banker (Aaron Douglas) and the boyfriend of a tech mogul (Stephen Bishop), is quite frankly delightful. She is extremely talented at using her body language to convincingly influence other actors — she gives them so much to engage with as a performer. Ms. Lavi’s different accents begin to slip at times, but who can blame her? Each of the people whose lives she enters would probably give her everything if she simply asked.

Ethan Peterson is the reviews editor of This Recording.

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