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LONE STAR Series Premiere Review

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LONE STAR Series Premiere Review

Lone Star FOX

Photo Credit : FOX

“You’re a con man, son.  This is what you do…this is who you are.”

   By : SHAWNA BENSON

“You’re a con man, son.  This is what you do…this is who you are.”

We’ve always been fascinated by a good con, the intricately detailed plan, how the con man executes it, how the mark never realizes what’s happened until it’s too late.  Cons are a staple of films and television shows, as they allow the viewer to experience a life and a wish fulfillment most of us will never be able to experience.

The shows about cons are usually about the game, what it takes to pull it off and be successful, what it takes to get away before the cops close in.  The con man needs to win, never mind the consequences.  When a con is successful it’s usually David defeating Goliath; little people don’t get hurt, only the big bad rich guy does.  What if the big bad rich guy isn’t your only target?  Can we sympathize with a con man who is conning someone like us?

Lone Star FOX

Photo Credit : FOX

Miraculously, “Lone Star” manages the impossible, sympathy for the man with two lives, two women, two cons at once.  Bob Allen (James Wolk) is a second generation con artist.  He’s learned from the best, his own dad (played by David Keith), and the two of them have become an amazing team, bilking anyone with a little cash out of their savings, selling them the proverbial snake oil.  Bob’s selling fake oil rights in Midland, Texas, a small town with a close community, and where he lives with his girlfriend Lindsay (Eloise Mumford).  In Midland he’s the newcomer working hard to “help” the local community.  When he leaves Midland, he morphs into his second life, wealthy, successful business man, married to Cat Thatcher (“Friday Night Lights” Adrianne Palicki), the daughter of  Clint Thatcher, an oil magnate (played by John Voight).  When Clint offers Bob a position in his company, it’s the chance of a lifetime.  Bob sees it as a possible path to going straight, even while his dad John sees it as a way to cheat the venerable man out of more money.

We are asked to understand Bob’s position – he loves both of these women, both of these lives.  His dad will have none of it; Bob has violated the first rule of the Con, he’s gotten emotionally attached to the marks.  Bob’s greatest strength is also his greatest weakness.  He can charm anyone, and he comes across as the most sincere man you’ve ever met.  He can do that because deep down, he really is a sincere man, one who has fallen victim to his dad’s mind games his entire life.  When you see how trapped Bob feels, and that he really doesn’t want anyone to get hurt, you can’t hate the guy.  That’s a credit to Wolk, who does an amazing job of bringing real warmth and likability to his portrayal of Bob.  It would be so easy for Bob to flash a sinister grin when no one is looking, but Wolk understands, that Bob isn’t that kind of con man.  He enjoys the game, but doesn’t like how it hurts those he loves.  When he wonders if he can get out of this without running away with his tail between his legs, we want him to succeed, and somehow make his two lives work.  It won’t be easy, for him or those he loves, but we want to see if Bob can pull off this con, the one he’s played on himself for so long.  That alone will keep me watching.

Lone Star premieres Monday September 20, at 9 PM Eastern/Pacific on FOX.

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