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If you embrace the cheese, Guilt is the best summer show this year

Confession time: I’ll admit I maybe judged Guilt too harshly during its pilot episode. I’m a huge fan of cheesy TV (I’m literally visiting Chicago for the sole purpose of attending Saved by the Max because I am such a massive Saved by the Bell fan, after all) and was initially a bit put off that Guilt seemed to be taking itself too seriously when it’s pretty much nothing more than a Lifetime movie spread into a season’s worth of episodes. But the second episode of the series solidified that Guilt is definitely aware of its soapiness… and self-aware is always a good thing in my eyes.

This episode finds Grace and the investigators examining video evidence of her and Molly in what appears to be a physical scuffle over someone that Molly was texting, who is alluded to be Grace’s creepy stepfather, James. Social media and its importance in this case becomes paramount here, proving that in 2016, a hashtag can be much more damning to a person than it’s comfortable to admit.

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There’s also the debate over whether or not Grace should be attending Molly’s memorial services. Her lawyer, the greasy, grimy Stan, thinks she shouldn’t due to the fact that she’s a prime suspect, but Grace’s sister feels she should, as she’ll only look guiltier if she doesn’t.

Grace not only attends but also gives a eulogy, and social media comes into play yet again when a shady newspaper reporter catches Grace laughing hysterically with her sorta boyfriend, Luc, the brooding French guy.

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The show continues on its quest to be the whodunit murder mystery of the season, and I’m all for it. The pace in this episode was much slower, but not in a bad way, and it’s become crystal clear that literally everyone is a suspect in Molly’s murder. There are the obvious culprits — creepy James, who is reluctant to admit his affair with the pretty young co-ed, and Professor Lindley, who protests a bit too much when asked about his relationship with Molly. It may seem far-fetched, but that’s the beauty of a murder mystery, isn’t it?

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The cast is great at not taking itself too seriously, and Billy Zane is flawless. He delivered the best line in TV that I’ve heard in a while, deadpanning to a college student with a particularly trendy hairdo: “Grace said you’d be the skank with the bad ombré.” Pretty rich coming from a totally bald guy, I’d say.

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