Johnny Miller (Taylor Handley, "The O.C") was a happy, well-adjusted high school student with good grades and a room full of sports trophies until the terrible night a year ago that his father committed suicide. Unable to cope, he tried to drown his pain in alcohol and drugs. Now, fresh out of rehab, Johnny is struggling to deal with an uncertain future in the surreal glare of Palm Springs, where his mother, Karen (Gail O'Grady, "NYPD Blue"), and her new husband, Bob (D.W. Moffett, "For Your Love"), have decided to make a new start.
The lush oasis of Palm Springs, with its golf courses, country clubs and beautiful people, is an unsettling new environment for Johnny. He quickly discovers that this paradise isn't quite what it seems when he meets his next-door neighbors: Cliff (Michael Cassidy, "The O.C."), a handsome high school junior whose considerable charm can't quite hide his disturbing dark side; and Cliff's mother, Tess (Sharon Lawrence, "NYPD Blue"), a former Southern beauty queen with a taste for younger men. Johnny learns that his new neighborhood is consumed by a tragedy when Cliff reveals that his best friend, Eddie, who lived in Johnny's house, recently died under mysterious circumstances.
Eddie's death seems to haunt everyone Johnny meets, especially Greta (Amber Heard, "Alpha Dog," "All the Boys Love Mandy Lane"), a stunning young beauty who fascinates Johnny from the moment he lays eyes on her. Intriguing and secretive, Greta has been on her own since the death of her mother many years before. With her father always away on business, Greta has become a self-sufficient loner. She quickly realizes, however, that Johnny is a kindred soul; someone forced by tough circumstances to grow up too soon. Even though Greta is drawn to Johnny, she refuses to talk about Eddie's death. In his search for answers to the deepening mystery, Johnny turns to another neighbor, Liza (Ellary Porterfield, "The Prizewinner of Defiance, Ohio"), a gifted but awkward high school student who conducts explosive science experiments in her garage, yet still manages to keep a close eye on everything that happens in the neighborhood. Liza and Johnny soon bond in their pursuit of the truth.
While Johnny adjusts to his new circle of friends, he is surprised by the arrival of Nikki (Tessa Thompson, "Veronica Mars"), a troubled L.A. party girl he met in rehab, whose family has written her off as a lost cause. Nikki is also fighting to stay sober, so Johnny introduces her to his colorful AA sponsor, Jesse Jo (Leslie Jordan, "Will & Grace"), who just happens to be a drag queen. Jesse Jo cares deeply about Johnny's recovery, and he immediately takes Nikki under his wing as well.
It often seems to Johnny that the flamboyant Jesse Jo is the only voice of reason in the strange and artificial atmosphere of Palm Springs. As he searches for answers to the questions surrounding Eddie's death and tries to fit into his new hometown, Johnny is learning that growing up may be the biggest mystery of all.
"Hidden Palms" is a Lionsgate Television production in association with Outerbanks Entertainment with executive producers Kevin Williamson ("Dawson's Creek," "I Know What You Did Last Summer," "Scream 1, 2 and 3") and Scott Winant ("Huff," "My So-Called Life").
Last modified on Sunday, 12-Sep-2010 23:22:23 CDT.