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The Mysteries and Drama of the Wealthy on 'The Sounds'
September 3, 2020  | By David Hinckley

Rotten rich people form a cornerstone of entertaining TV drama, as any fan of Dynasty can attest.

To that long and infamous list, we can now add the Cabbotts from The Sounds, a new Canadian mystery drama that became available Thursday on Acorn.

Best of all, The Sounds is light on soap opera and long on crime mystery. By the end of the first episode, it's hard not to await the next seven.

Tom Cabbott (Matt Whelan, top) hails from a Canadian family that runs some sort of business that's as lucrative as it is shady. He's dependent on them for money but has little use for them otherwise, and the rest of the family mostly seems to feel the same about him.

His father, Frank (John Bach), in particular, is rich, arrogant, entitled, surly, and generally unlikeable.

So Tom has talked the family into letting him tap into his trust fund and extract enough money to launch an ambitious enterprise of his own, a sustainable salmon fishery.

In the idyllic coastal community of Pelorus, New Zealand.

At least that's what he tells his wife Maggie (Rachelle Lefevre, top), who has flown to New Zealand to join him and start this new chapter in their lives.

Just escaping his family feels like a big win, though there's clearly tension between Tom and Maggie that suggests she's not convinced Tom's new venture is as fresh and clean as he's portraying it.

When the fishery's launch party is interrupted by a local woman who calls Tom a clueless and toxic interloper, that further raises the specter that perhaps Tom's new venture isn't the all-around win that it might on the surface seem.

The die seems to be cast, in any case, and the next morning, while Maggie finishes sleeping off her jet lag, Tom takes his kayak out for a spin in the bay.

And doesn't come back.

Maggie, increasingly frantic, turns to the local police chief, Jack McGregor (Matt Nable), who is also family friend. That doesn't stop Maggie from yelling at Jack when bad weather halts the rescue mission, and the big bosses in Wellington reclassify it as a recovery mission, meaning they now think Tom is dead.

Maggie is having none of that, and while she doesn't know anything close to the whole story, she's not wrong in suspecting there was a lot going on that she didn't know about.

The cover-up stretches from Tom's family back in Canada to much of Pelorus, apparently. It also may include Tom and Maggie, in their own ways.

What began as a missing person case starts peeling back layers of what turns out to be a large and complicated onion.

The Sounds is a classic crime miniseries, fast-paced and engaging, and viewers periodically learn some of the truth before the characters. Its disparate elements weave together nicely, and if they don't flatter the idyllic small town, they suggest we all share the common flaw of being people.

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