“Red Widow" 9 p.m. Sunday, ABC
PASADENA, Calif. — Television producers have found success with antiheroes in “Breaking Bad" and “Dexter." Audiences accept the drug deals and serial killings because the illegal activities are done for a greater good.
Now ABC hopes viewers will accept a woman in the antihero role in the new crime drama “Red Widow."
Radha Mitchell plays Marta Walraven, a woman whose perfect life is turned upside down when her husband is murdered. It’s only then she discovers he was involved in illegal activities and has to take over his criminal life to protect her family.
“And in the process she discovers things about herself and talents that she didn’t know she had," said Mitchell. “She’s somebody who’s very human and at the same time discovers aspects of herself that are more than she would expect, primarily because she finds the strength in herself as a mother."
The series is based on the Dutch program “Penoza." It comes from Melissa Rosenberg, who, before becoming the screen writer for the “Twilight" movies, worked on “Dexter."
“It’s the same kind of an issue you’re dealing with in the character of Dexter, who’s a serial killer. How do you get an audience rooting for someone like that? How do you get someone rooting for a mother who’s making some really questionable moral decisions? So having gone through the four years I was on ‘Dexter’ has really helped me to find in those dark places what it is that’s universal, what it is we can all relate to. And again, as played by Radha, you really feel the humanity of this character," Rosenberg said.