The last time Mireille Enos played a television detective in The Killing, she looked permanently miserable, and habitually dressed in a dowdy fair isle jumper.

But now she's gone private, and glammed up for crime-and-caper drama The Catch, the latest show by Shonda Rhimes and Betsy Beers, producers of Grey's Anatomy, Scandal and How to Get Away with Murder.

Enos, in her role as Los Angeles' top private investigator Alice Vaughan, continues the ShondaLand custom of centring its sagas on a woman who's strong, resourceful, sexy and successful, even as she falls short of superwoman status: Alice, like Shonda heroines Meredith Grey and Olivia Pope, also has a vulnerable streak.

Alice Vaughan (Mireille Enos) is a top private investigator and the one woman you don't want to mess with. Photo / ABC
Alice Vaughan (Mireille Enos) is a top private investigator and the one woman you don't want to mess with. Photo / ABC

The thing is, Alice is in love with a perfect guy, Benjamin Jones. Played by the always-appealing Peter Krause (of Parenthood and Six Feet Under), Ben is rich, charming and caters to her every need. After a year of dating, he has popped the question.


But in the blink of an eye, he (along with his false identity) disappears, conning Alice out of her life savings in the process.

"Are you ready to play?" Her scamming ex mocks Alice in a catch-me-if-you-can parting shot.

"She is a powerful girl," says Enos. "She is feisty and energetic and playful and loving. And then this terrible thing happens that throws her on a mission: finding the man who broke her heart."

Alice, backed with her firm's varied but attractive team, will tackle other cases each week, but finding Mr Right-Gone-Wrong will be job one.

And here's yet another twist: Despite Ben's lifelong career as a high-end conman, it's possible he really loves her and wishes he could win her back.

"I like to think of the show as The Thomas Crown Affair meets Romeo and Juliet,"' says Enos, "with star-crossed lovers who are meant to be together while the world is conspiring against them."

The Catch returns Mireille to the role of detective, but Alice Vaughan, who favours Louboutins, is a vastly different brand of gumshoe from Enos' previous role, that of Homicide Detective Sarah Linden on The Killing, where she was brooding and haunted as she trudged through a ghastly murder investigation soaked in Seattle rain.

By contrast, LA sun and sheen prevail on The Catch, where Enos is as glammed-up as she was dressed-down in The Killing.

"Usually I only do dress-up-girl for the red carpet, and now I get to do it every day at work."

The new show may not be as authentic as The Killing, but her character required lots of preparation.

"You should see the box of books I have in my trailer!" she crows. "Books about the CIA. About how to read body language. Private Investigating for Dummies. How to make cool things out of random household objects."

With any luck, she could also be spending a few years cat-and-mousing with Krause, whom she describes as "a really good guy who imbues every character with heart.

"So even if he's playing the quote-unquote bad guy, the viewer wants to root for him."

Where: TVNZ OnDemand
When: From Wednesday, May 18
What: The star of The Killing heads into ShondaLand

- AP