CTDFF: In the Dark Review

May 21, 2019

William Greer & Jennifer Bracy
CTDFF staff

Although, ABC’s Speechless got cancelled after just three seasons, we’ve found another show that has our full attention. The CW’s In The Dark, created by Corinne Kingsbury and Executive Produced by Ben Stiller and Mike Showalter, tells the story of Murphy Mason (Perry Mattfeld), a blind woman who investigates the death of Tyson, her best friend. 

A woman with a golden retriever looks out somberly from a background of blurred, colorful city lights.

Photo Credit: The CW Network

Murphy’s personality, abilities, and attitudes are neither created nor defined by her blindness. She does not hesitate to be rude when people make inaccurate assumptions about how much she can detect with other senses because of her lack of sight. She tells one police officer, ”I am no Daredevil” when he asks how she could tell Tyson was dead. She points out that he did not feel like a living person. Murphy’s talents did not arise to compensate for her lack of vision; she’s just using the senses available to her.

While we can’t resist a good mystery unfolding, the best part about the show is its complex protagonist. First, Murphy is not shown to be flawless. She makes several mistakes as she learns the best ways to investigate her friend’s death, and she also hurts some of her friends along the way. Second, she has a complicated relationship with her disability, at times she is frustrated by, or angry at it. Sometimes she uses beliefs that other people have about her disability to gain an advantage. Sometimes she shows that her disability neither defines nor limits what she can do.

It should be noted that Mattfield, the actress who plays Murphy, is not blind herself, which is a bit disappointing. On the plus side, In the Dark is the first CW primetime series to carry Descriptive Video Service audio.

In The Dark airs every Thursday night on the CW through May 30, and you can watch earlier episodes online. The show’s been renewed for a second season as of last month, so catch up while you can!

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