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Why You Should Be Watching USA’s New Show, Eyewitness

Warning: this article contains spoilers.

This year’s new fall series are in full swing – I’m sure you’re all caught up on This Is Us, Pitch, and Designated Survivor, but what about those gems of television that often go unnoticed? The award for the most underrated fall television show has to go to USA’s new series Eyewitness.

The show focuses on two teenage boys: Philip Shea (left, played by Tyler Young) – a foster child with an addict mom who moves from New York City to a small town to live with Helen Torrance, the sheriff, and her husband Gabe – and Lukas Waldenbeck (right, played by James Paxton) – a small town native with a promising future in motocross, a hot girlfriend, and popularity. In the first episode, we see how the lives of these two boys, with seemingly nothing in common, become forever intertwined.

The episode opens with Philip filming Lukas riding his bike for sponsor videos. When they get back to Lukas’ cabin, the two boys find themselves awkwardly hooking up. Lukas, who is violently closeted, is adamant that their affair remain a secret.  He tells Philip “no one’s gonna know about this, because you’re never gonna tell them.” Mid hook-up, a car pulls up to the house. First thinking it’s Lukas’s dad, the two boys hide. However, the car contains some seriously bad guys instead. Fighting ensues, and ultimately, the two boys end up eye-witnessing (get it?) a triple murder. Just making it out alive, thinking they killed the murderer in self defense, Lukas makes Philip promise not to say anything in fear of his sexuality being revealed. This becomes increasingly difficult, however, when Philip’s foster mom, sheriff Torrance (played by Julianne Nicholson, below), leads the investigation. Oh, and the murderer is still alive, as if it couldn’t get any worse.  

Similar to shows like How to Get Away With Murder and Quantico, the storyline centers on catching a killer. However, in this show, we know off the bat who the murderer is: Ryan Kane, played by Warren Christie (below). That doesn’t mean it won’t take a lot to catch him, though. The first few episodes throw in a few surprising punches about just how close to the investigation this bad guy actually is.

This show really has it all: an intense and unpredictable plot line, complex characters, and some very honest LGBTQ representation. In an interview, Tyler Young explains, “you see two very different coming-out stories on the same show, and I think that’s very true to the experience of LGBTQ youth. There’s no one way to come out. Everyone has a journey…so Lukas internalizes everything, and it’s hard for Philip to watch because he sees that Lukas is doing all this to himself. That’s why Philip says, ‘Let’s tell people, let’s get this done.’ Because young love can feel like life and death.” And on Eyewitness, that may literally be the case.

You can watch new episodes on Sundays, 10:00 p.m. Eastern on USA.


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Lauren Ablondi-Olivo is a senior at the University of Connecticut and the President of UConn's Her Campus chapter. She studies English with a minor in Communications and is pursuing a concentration in Creative Writing. Lauren loves writing about politics, entertainment, books, and issues regarding young women around the world. When she's not writing, you can probably find her in her apartment drinking iced coffee and watching New Girl for the thousandth time. 
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