By Benjamin Lindsay
USA’s hotly anticipated crime drama, Eyewitness, is the latest foreign exchange series set to take primetime by storm. Just like The Killing and House of Cards before it, Eyewitness from showrunner Adi Hasak (Shades of Blue) and director Catherine Hardwicke (Twilight) takes a hit series from overseas -- Øyevitne -- and reinterprets it for the American small screen to great success.
Eyewitness is a limited crime mystery series centered on gay teens Philip Shea (Tyler Young) and Lukas Waldenbeck (James Paxton), and Philip’s foster mother Helen Torrance (Julianne Nicholson), who’s also their small-town sheriff in upstate New York. That town, Tivoli, is rocked to its core when a triple homicide is found in Lukas’ father’s cabin. Unbeknownst to Helen, Philip and Lukas were witness to the murders. But the murderer knows it -- and he’s hot on their tail.
While it’s a taut, thrilling series for audiences of all kinds, Twilight fans will find Eyewitness especially DVR-worthy. We round up five reasons why below!
1. Catherine Hardwicke directs.
Hardwicke is only attached to direct the first two episodes of Eyewitness, but she was involved in casting and her template for the look of the show remains throughout the season. Much like she did with the first installment of the Twilight Saga franchise, this female auteur sets the tone with high-stakes drama, action, and romance, all washed in her muted blue lens. Plus, it’s always nice to see a woman get her due behind the camera. Hollywood needs more of that!
2. There's a battle of good vs. evil.
When you boil down the two worlds created in Eyewitness and Twilight, the reason viewers come back for more is to see good triumph over evil. The killer on the loose in search of our heroes Lukas and Philip is just as formidable and fearsome as the evil vampires set on hunting down Bella Swan. And ultimately, despite countless twists and turns, we hope for the unlikely hero to rise to the occasion and triumph.
3. It takes place in a small-town setting.
They may be set on different coasts, but the locales of Twilight and Eyewitness (Forks, Washington and Tivoli, New York, respectively) have more in common than you’d think. Both small towns are snug in the woods where not much of anything happens, and they provide the perfect landscape for our heroes to break free and get caught up in something bigger than themselves. In both cases, that leads to a certain amount of trouble with vampires and serial killers, but it certainly makes for sympathetic circumstances and can’t-look-away entertainment.
4. You'll find star-crossed lovers.
Sure, this isn’t a story of a teenage girl and a vampire, but Philip and Lukas’ romance faces its own set of major obstacles, lurking killers aside. In both the Twilight and Eyewitness love stories, one has a power that the other desires but is unable to obtain. The fact that these two relationships take place in high school is also little coincidence: the wonder years have always served as a melting pot of drama, first loves, insecurity and concern for reputations -- the list goes on.
5. Compelling adult and supporting characters round out the story.
Eyewitness certainly hinges heavily on Philip and Lukas’ relationship, but there’s drama a-plenty with adult characters, such as Helen Torrance, Philip's foster mother. Just like Bella Swan’s father in Twilight (Charlie Swan played by Billy Burke), she’s the sheriff in town, and throughout the series, she balances the line of professional and personal investment in the Tivoli murders as things get more intense.
Eyewitness premieres this Sunday at 10/9c on USA Network.