MTV has been producing excellent dramas and Eye Candy is the latest both to their schedule and to acquire said excellence.
That's not to say there aren't obvious, gaping issues with the series. In Eye Candy Season 1 Episode 1 there are several times when you not only doubt the intelligence of the characters, but whether any of them have a lick of sense between them.
All of that is very easy to overlook as in short order the world of Lindy Sampson is drawn with both pathos and humor. She's gotten the shaft, but doesn't let it stop her from enjoying the company of her friends or grabbing life by the balls.
When the Pilot opens, we watch in horror as Sara, Lindy's younger sister who often takes off without notice, gets kidnapped at a fast food restaurant. It's hard to imagine Lindy's emotional state at the time or later. She insisted they get Sara something to eat, and the stupid restaurant she chose had the slimmest drive-thru ever created (quite a hazard, really).
Three years later and we learn Lindy never found Sara, took to hacking police databases in her search for Sara because she didn't believe they were doing enough and subsequently got caught – by her boyfriend Ben, who appeared to have been a cop by sheer providence.
Throughout the first hour, we see Lindy at her job with her quirky, helpful coworker George. He's a guy she trusts and equally as technically savvy as Lindy. How she managed to hook a job as a tech support person when she's on probation for hacking is unknown, but once she gets her ankle bracelet removed at the end of her probation, a detective named Tommy asks her about it.
If she's on probation, the employer would have contacted the probation department about her employment. She most definitely was told not to go near computers. She didn't even use a fake name to gain her position. For six months she did what she wanted. Suddenly, upon her release, the question came up. It seemed an awfully convenient plot device merely to move the story forward and get us past the previous three years without being subjected to actually sitting through them.
We glean Lindy used her techie skills to help others find lost loved ones by creating a website devoted to the cause (which would have been easily tracked while on probation, but we'll skip over that). At least she was doing something. She met Ben when she was hot on the trail of people who might have known Sara. Bad guys. She wound up arrested and they broke up.
Despite the breakup, Lindy wasn't over Ben. Even though bestie and roommate Sophia knew that, she still signed her up for "Flirtual," the most frightening dating app ever to be placed on a phone. I suppose it's the fictionial "Tinder" app, and if you ever thought using it was a good idea, hopefully this changes your opinion.
Until recently, Sophia was able to keep her two BFFs away from each other. Now that Lindy is free to roam the city again, her and Connor have to learn to share Sophia and live in the same space. It's a good thing Connor is around. He's a Flirtual pro and equips Lindy with the tools she needs to erase, flirt or skip over her dating prospects. It's another moment to suspend our disbelief – are we really to believe given all of the hacking, tech knowledge and cases about cyber stalking she's been involved with Lindy had no idea about Flirtual? It didn't feel true to the character they're creating.
By this point, all of the characters have been introduced. They're really isn't a dog in the room. Even her dates, which could be serial killers, have their strong points. While the plot could use a jolt of reality, the characters are well-written and fully fleshed out within a short time. It's easy to see why Connor and Lindy might rub each other the wrong way, for example, but it's as easy to imagine they'll wind up good friends.
The remainder of the opener becomes an unwelcome introduction into the cons of online dating, the discovery Lindy is being watched, Lindy's desire to turn the tables on her would-be stalker and the shocking death of one of her suspects. Only one night of dating sends Lindy back into Ben's arms (and who can blame her?) and they join forces again both romantically and professionally.
Lightning can strike twice, and because Sara was kidnapped giving no closure to Lindy, she receives it when it comes to Ben. He's swiftly killed right where they made love the previous night and she was below
The list of things that are hard to swallow (in addition to those above) is long. We can assume the murderer got her information from Flirtual, but from the time the account was created until he has her pegged as his possible soul mate is both outrageous and disturbing. Walking home, he's watching her from street cameras. Within a day or so Bad Stalker Guy has access to her apartment to set up an elaborate ruse setting in motion Ben's murder. Through this all, Lindy continues to trust the everyday, such as cabs, open windows and rooftop lovemaking sessions when she should be looking over her shoulder in desperation.
Much like this summer's Finding Carter, reality is stretched very thin, yet you cannot take your eyes off the screen. All of their naïveté and stupidity doesn't mar the overall entertainment provided. The desire to binge watch is overwhelming as the credits roll. We want more; is Lindy safe? Who's the killer? Is it someone close or far? It's captivating and heartbreaking and we want Justice to prevail – Eye Candy and Victoria.
What did you think of Eye Candy? Will you be watching next week? Were you as shocked (and saddened) to see Ben go as I was? Do you have any early suspects? I do, but I'm keeping my tongue tied until we see more.
Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Critic's Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.