Premiering tomorrow on USA Network and adapted from Petra Hammesfahr’s 2007 novel of the same name, The Sinner unfortunately lacks a certain virtue in today’s crowded television environment.

It stars Jessica Biel as a young mother who suddenly stabs a man to death while at the beach with her family and Bill Pullman as the rough around the edges and no saint himself detective determined to find out why before it is too late. The eight-episode series from Derek Simonds has ambition. However, that doesn’t prove enough from what I’ve seen.

Despite its thrust of a whydunit over the obvious whodunit, the fact is The Sinner adds up to an ocean of clichés swimming together in a not particularly interesting manner towards a fairly apparent conclusion of the legacy of violence, whether you’ve read the book or not – as I say in my video review above.

Now maybe the flashback filled series from Biel’s Iron Ocean and Universal Cable Productions improves as you get deeper in but it’s hard to see how with the trajectory it launches off. Certainly, in her return to the small screen after decades, 7th Heaven alum Biel goes for raw in the role of the confused Cora Tannetti. But, like the Detective Harry Ambrose played by Pullman, who can usually take a character to a deep place, the efforts are wasted as the why becomes far too clear far too early on.

So take a look at my video review of The Sinner above for more of my take on the show and tell us what you think. Did you read Hammesfahr’s book? Will you be watching The Sinner?