I've seen a lot of bad pilots in my life, many of which never made it to air. It's also widely known that pilots are generally tough. It takes time to find the right rhythm, and only a keen eye can spot its potential. So when I see a strong pilot, I'm stunned. Such is the case with The Sinner, starring Jessica Biel. The series is also executive produced by Biel, and this is her first regular role on a television series since 7th Heaven. Biel's producing partner, Michelle Purple, also serves as an executive producer, and this was done through their company Iron Ocean Films.
Episode one makes it very clear that we're in for a ride. Biel plays a young mother named Cora who commits an unspeakable act of violence in public while sitting on the beach with her family. There's no explanation for her behavior, and Cora insists that there's simply no motivation behind her act. But Detective Harry Ambrose (Bill Pullman) thinks differently.
In just one episode I can safely say this is Biel's finest role. Were it not for the trailer, you'd be shocked by her act, while also being able to watch it again and spot the signs that something about her behavior is slightly awry. This requires a great amount of nuance and intrigue, and she plays it perfectly. And I'm not the only one who thought so. The series drew 3.5 million viewers making it the summer’s top cable drama series debut.
Tune in to the anthology drama on Wednesdays at 10/9c on USA Network