The latest midseason offering comes from ABC in the form of Russian mob drama that, compared to some of the other network shows we've gotten lately, isn't half bad.
"Red Widow" (9 p.m.) stars Radha Mitchell as Marta Walraven, the daughter of a Russian mobster. Marta's husband Evan, played by Anson Mount ("Hell on Wheels"), is involved in comparatively clean endeavors -- that is to say, he isn't part of her father's criminal network, but he is a marijuana importer. When pot-dealer Evan is gunned down in the family's front yard (and not for dealing pot), Marta must deal with a bigger and way badder Russian mobster to save herself and her three children from the same fate. The bigger, badder mob leader is played by Goran Visnjic ("E.R.").
"Red Widow," based on the Dutch series "Penoza," has promising credentials: It's executive-produced and written by Melissa Rosenberg, a former head writer for "Dexter" and the "Twilight" films.
Sunday night we get the first two episodes of the series back-to-back (it settles in at 10 p.m. next Sunday), and that second episode is when we really start to see the new life in store for Marta and her family, and the path the series is likely to take.
The premise is a little "Weeds" meets "Breaking Bad," but the version you'd expect from a broadcast network. Still, it's not bad. I'm very interested to see where Marta's character goes from tonight's jumping-off point. And in a Sunday at 10 p.m. timeslot, it has a darker-than-it-really-is feel after the soapy silliness of "Revenge."