Review: Imposters, season 1

Inbar Lavi in Imposters

Imposters is a TV series about a group of con artists. It’s a fun series with a great cast and an entertaining twisty storyline. This is a review (with a few spoilers) of season 1.

Inbar Lavi stars as the chief seductress in a team of three con artists. Lavi takes on new personas as Ava, Alice, CeCe, Saffron and so on. Her real name is Maddie so that’s what I’ll call her here. The con is, she marries someone and 28 days later she steals all their money and disappears.

Katherine LaNasa and Brian Benben in Imposters
Katherine LaNasa and Brian Benben talk as Sally and Max.

Working with Maddie are Brian Benben (real name Max), and Katherine LaNasa (real name Sally), who take on whatever persona is needed for the con to support Maddie’s seduction and marriage. When these three finish with a mark, most of the money goes to The Doctor (Ray Proscia) who then sends them off to find their next mark.

When we first meet Maddie she’s Ava with a French accent. She just married Ezra Bloom (Rob Heaps). They are very happy together and we don’t realize any more than Ezra does what is about to happen. He’s buying her a cute puppy when he realizes all his credit cards are refused. At the ATM he sees his balance is $0. He dashes home to find the safe emptied.

On the fridge is scribbled Ezra looks at the website and sees a farewell video from Ava with instructions about an envelope in the freezer. It contains blackmail information. She warns him if he tries to find her, she’ll use it.

We realize later this is the M.O. Seduction, marriage, steal everything, leave a video and a blackmail threat, disappear. It’s worked for years.

Ezra is devastated. He’s trying to hang himself with an electrical cord when Richard Evans (Parker Young) knocks on his door. He looking for Alice. He shows Ezra a photo of Alice and it’s Ava with blonde hair. Richard claims to be her husband. Wait. Two husbands?

Parker Young and Rob Heaps in Imposters
Brawn and brains make a good team

After they fight, get drunk, and share their stories, they decide to find their woman! The chase is on.

Marianne Rendón in Imposters
Jules married CeCe

The chase leads them to the door of Jules (Marianne Rendón). Jules was also married to Maddie, whose name was CeCe at the time. Now it’s two husbands and a wife. After they fight, get drunk, and share their stories, Jules joins the chase.

The trio of Ezra, Richard and Jules are at times hilarious, at times pathetic, at times brilliant. They are all still in love with whichever Maddie they knew. They are all flat broke and have to resort to illegal means to gather up enough cash for the chase.

That much exposition takes about 3 episodes to get us going with the characters and the plan for what’s coming in the rest of the season. There are 10 episodes in the season.

Meanwhile Maddie as Saffron is in Seattle where she’s busy seducing a mean and unlikable banker named Gary Heller (Aaron Douglas).

Inbar Lavi and Stephen Bishop in Imposters
Inbar Lavi and Stephen Bishop meet in a coffee shop

It gets complicated when Maddie meets Patrick (Stephen Bishop) in the coffee shop across the street from the bank. He’s handsome. He’s charming. She falls for him. Really – not fake in love.

It’s hard to seduce a disgusting banker when you’re in love with Patrick. Maddie falls down on the job. That’s when Lenny Cohen (Uma Therman) shows up. Lenny Cohen (I love that name choice, hallelujah) is The Doctor’s enforcer. She only shows up when someone isn’t doing their job.

Brian Benben, Uma Thurman, and Inbar Lavi in Imposters
Uma Thurman as Lenny Cohen on the job. What are they looking at?

Lenny is dangerous, menacing, and threatens the worst. Uma Thurman is fantastic in this part. She has a hoot doing it and it shows. She dresses in men’s clothes. She breaks a guy’s wrist in a bar when he makes a pass. Casting Uma Thurman in this part added about 1000% to the delight of Imposters.

The Doctor tells Maddie to make Patrick her mark since he’s rich, too. Nooooo – she doesn’t want to marry Patrick and steal all his money and leave him behind. Maddie wants to get out of the life and run away with Patrick forever!

Inbar Lavi and Chastity Dotson in Imposters
Saffron and Gina – if you can’t have one, the other looks good, too

Saffron meets Patrick’s family which includes his sister Gina (Chastity Dotson) and his Auntie Colleen (Denise Dowse). Gina turns out to be a lesbian. When Jules and the boys turn up in Seattle, Gina and Jules get interesting.

Patrick, Gina, and Auntie Colleen have a secret. I’m not going to tell you what it is because it’s one too many spoilers if you haven’t watched Imposters yet. I’ll simply say things get really complicated, a little dangerous, and the viewers are in on all the fun.

Season 1 ends with some lingering questions and cliffhangers. I’m looking forward to season 2 and the further adventures of this outstanding group of players.

All the casting choices were excellent. They are the reason the series is so enjoyable. Especially Inbar Lavi. She shines. She’s a tiny woman but her presence is huge. She does a brilliant job leading this cast.

The music is wonderful. Lots of jazz and blues threaded through the action music.

Imposters was created by Paul Adelstein and Adam Brooks. Along with these two were numerous writers – about half of them women – and a number of directors – several female.  I’m happy to give full credit to Paul Adelstein and Adam Brooks for dreaming up this romp among con artists, but I also like to imagine that all those women writers and directors added to my enjoyment of the series!

Both seasons of Imposters are now available on Hulu. The series was originally produced by Bravo. It’s also on Netflix and Amazon Prime.

4 thoughts on “Review: Imposters, season 1”

      1. christopher swaby

        thank you. i love your reviews, and the choices of film/tv you decide to review. i haven’t found many reviewers out there with your sensibilities. this one is on me: i have always, even as a child, needed to think the hero(ine) is redeemable in order to enjoy a piece. anti heroes typically have some good reason for the bad things they’ve done or bad methods they’ve used. Rita is an example for me – she really can be shitty to adults, even those who have a good point, but great to her students; she loves her children but still leaves much to be desired as a mom. Season 4 was a reward for my faith in her as we discover how she became the adult we love. i suspect i am missing out on good entertainment bc i need my heroines to wear white (or at least beige) hats, but there it is.

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