If someone seems too good to be true.. THEY ARE! At least that’s what Whoopi Goldberg has us believing as the voice of The Con (ABC Wednesdays then Hulu). There are plenty of shows dedicated to the duped, the scorned, and the scammed. But there’s something about how The Con is presented that makes you feel like you’re not being conned out of your time.
You’re Just Too Good To Be True
The first three episodes show smart and shrewd people who think they are dealing with someone in their same socioeconomic stratum. The con artists lure in their marks by spending their own money and even their own, verified celebrity. A pioneering doctor is profiled by a news organization and makes a connection with the segment’s producer. He’s got cred, connections, and a jet set life. But he also has at least one other family and a set of medically questionable ethics. Spoiler Alert: even progressive popes don’t marry divorcés, especially when one of them isn’t even catholic. If someone tries to tell you otherwise: run!
What makes this con so bizarre is that we don’t know why he did what he did. She didn’t get hit up for money or property. It’s just senseless heartbreaks. I guess the point is to just beware of suave sociopaths ingratiating themselves into your life.
They’ve also looked at a fake Irish heiress and will eventually profile a scam run by a guy claiming to be a Saudi prince who’s really just a dude from Michigan.
Whoopi Cushions the Blow
Whoopi has an attitude, a point of view, a come-on-what-are-you-thinking tone to her voice. It’s fun as long as it’s not directed at you. Besides the strong stories, what makes this stand out from its analogues is her storytelling. Her combination of incredulity tinged with compassion sets just the right tone for these particular stories. If I had to pick one of her movie roles to compare it to, I’d probably go with Jumpin’ Jack Flash. That film also looks at trying to find truth among lies and betrayals.
The Critic’s Cocktail Recommendation
This isn’t must see, but you won’t feel conned out of your time if you sit down for 44 minutes. If you’ve ever been scammed you may feel better seeing that it can truly happen to anyone, even (especially?) A-Listers.
Before hitting play, I’m pouring an Old Fashioned. Extra Bitters!