Swimming With Sharks: Season 1/ Episode 1 “Chapter One” [Premiere] – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)

Title Card - Swimming With Sharks Season 1 Episode 1 Chapter One [Premiere]

While there is a certain level of intrigue here, you’ll see some plot elements that will make you roll your eyes and hope Swimming With Sharks does things different.


While there is a certain level of intrigue here, you’ll see some plot elements that will make you roll your eyes and hope Swimming With Sharks does things different.


Aired 4/15/2022
Network Roku
Created or Developed By Kathleen Robertson
Directed By Tucker Gates
Written By Kathleen Robertson
Genre Drama, Young Adult
Introduced This Episode
Lou Kiernan Shipka
Joyce Diane Kruger
Martin Finn Jones
Redmond Donald Sutherland
Meredith Erika Alexander
Travis Thomas Dekker
Alex Ross Butler

Plot Overview

Lou (Kiernan Shipka) in Joyce's office
Lou (Kiernan Shipka)

Fresh from Colorado Springs, Lou arrives to her internship at Fountain Pictures (Clearly Warner Brothers) to work for its current CEO, Joyce Holt. The first few days are far from easy, thanks to Joyce’s minions making life hard, but Lou presses on, impresses the VP of production, Martin Bruhl, and doesn’t get on Joyce’s bad side.

In fact, with Joyce waiting out the president of the company, Redmond, to die and hoping she can convince a woman named Meredith to sell the rights of her book to the company, Lou is just another blonde. However, Lou has watched and studied Joyce carefully for years, unbeknownst to Joyce. Now, with what end game in mind? That’s hard to say, but we do know Lou was willing to sleep with Meredith to hopefully gain some leverage for her boss.

Things To Note

  • Unexpected Content Advisory: Cursing (Yes), Violence (graphic imagery), Sexual Content (nudity – like random dick pic), Miscellaneous (magots and needles)

Question(s) Left Unanswered

Travis (Thomas Dekker) and Alex (Ross Butler) setting the tone for the interns
Travis (Thomas Dekker) and Alex (Ross Butler)
  1. Should we assume Lou killed her mom and went crazy?
  2. How did Travis and Alex get their jobs? I would imagine Joyce with someone older. Never mind, someone loyal to Redmond to keep an eye on her.

What Could Happen Next

  1. We learn Lou has a single white female type of madness.
  2. We learn who the person who died with Joyce’s signature scorpion paperweight is

Review

Highlights

It’s In And Out – Doesn’t Overstay It’s Welcome

It’s rare to find shows that are dramas that are a half-hour or less. In Hollywood, the standard is for them to be an hour, but I’d submit Swimming With Sharks benefits from getting in, and just as you are getting bored or think the show is trying to implement shock value, it exits. That might be the saving grace for this, even though it released its entire first season at one time.

On The Fence

The Lack Of A Strong Hook

Joyce (Diane Kruger) in bed, after taking a shot to get pregnant
Joyce (Diane Kruger)

Swimming With Sharks is the type of show which focuses more on you liking and investing in the actors than the characters they play. Nothing about Lou feels fresh. She is a troubled girl, masquerading as someone sweet, put together, and from the Midwest with Hollywood dreams and a strong work ethic. Tell me how many characters like that you have thought of.

The same goes for Joyce, who, by Meredith, is called out for being a token woman CEO, and with Joyce trying to pull that woman solidarity card with Meredith, a Black woman? Oh, I was too through. Too much of this show feels rehashed but with a new face attached. Which, as much as we may like Kieran Shipka from her past work, I don’t feel like this show, one of the first lead roles where she isn’t playing a teenager, is the one that really showcases what her adult career should be judged on.

Initial Impression

If you don’t have a laundry list of things to watch, Swimming With Sharks could be good for filling up your time. However, if you have a handful of shows on Netflix to catch up on, new movies to see, stuff on Amazon Prime, shows on basic cable, network TV, and more, Swimming With Sharks isn’t something I’d put at the top of my list. It feels very Lifetime original series, just with nudity and the potential for violence being shown on screen.


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