28 August 2015 | SnoopyStyle
needed to show Eddie's death in the pilot
Johnny Miller (Taylor Handley) moves into Palm Springs, California. He hates his mother Karen (Gail O'Grady) and her new husband Bob Hardy (D.W. Moffett) after his father's suicide a year ago. He's a recovering alcoholic with Jesse Jo (Leslie Jordan) as his new AA sponsor. His science nerd neighbor Liza Witter (Ellary Porterfield) is an admirer from afar. He falls for the enigmatic Greta Matthews (Amber Heard). Cliff Wiatt (Michael Cassidy) is his next door neighbor who claims to be a friend to the previous occupant Eddie who committed suicide in his room. Tess Wiatt (Sharon Lawrence) is Cliff's outrageous mother. Nikki Barnes (Tessa Thompson) is the last new kid in the upper class oasis community who also has an alcohol problem. Johnny starts getting IMs from a person claiming to be Eddie.
Kevin Williamson returned to TV after 'Dawson's Creek' but he lost that teenage connection temporarily. He tried to tap into his love of murder and mayhem but he needed to show Eddie's death in the first episode. If the pilot showed Eddie's murder and a cover-up, then it would have hooked the audience on a murder mystery right away. Of course, the most photogenic of this beautiful group is Amber Heard. I was actually more interested in Liza but she turns into a secondary character for episodes 2 and 3. It was perplexing at the time to introduce a main character in the pilot and then sideline her. Williamson tried to make O.C. with a mystery but I was never invested in the mystery and the teens are much less likable.