Game Of Silence

Dark Secrets Come Out Of The Past In Gripping New NBC Drama.

NBC’s new drama Game of Silence has as its backdrop one of those coming-of-age stories featuring dark secrets that may call to mind Stephen King works like Stand by Me and It, not only in its subject matter, but also in its literary feel. That probably comes in large part from the contributions of writer/executive producer David Hudgins (Friday Night Lights, Parenthood) and executive producer Carol Mendelsohn (CSI), who manage to effectively combine the realism of Hudgins’ work with the mystery and occasional violence of Mendelsohn’s.

“The nuances of the characters and the complexity of the characters, the subject matter that was very unapologetic” were some of the things that initially attracted costar Larenz Tate, who plays Shawn, one of a group of friends who have a dark secret they thought was buried 25 years ago come back to light. David Lyons as Jackson, Michael Raymond-James as Gil, Derek Phillips as Boots and Bre Blair as Jessie round out the group.

As children, a well-intentioned effort to save Jessie from her alcoholic mother ultimately cost the boys nine months at a youth detention facility. Now, as a mystery deeper than their buried past resurfaces, the old friends must band together to right some wrongs.

“The fact that they are now going to deal with it because they’re forced to deal with it … as an actor, you always want to see characters jump off the page, and all the characters were very flush and had presence,” Tate added.

In a series like this, it can be challenging for an actor to portray a character without necessarily knowing how the mystery plays out.

Tate said that wasn’t necessarily a problem here. “The great thing about Hudgins, if we really wanted to know something, he’d say, ‘Call and I’ll tell you.’ That’s if you really want to know. If you can wait, fine. There are so many secrets, but he didn’t keep secrets from us. ‘I’ll tell you if you want to know. If you think it helps you, I’ll tell you.’ … And there are certain things I didn’t want to know, you know?”

For the rest of us, though, we have to learn the surprises as they come. And unlike with a Stephen King story, there’s no cheating by jumping ahead to the end.

A sneak peek of the new series will air on NBC Tuesday, April 12 at 10pmET, and then the series will regularly air Thursdays starting April 14. 

Written by Jeff Pfeiffer, Hopper Magazine