NEW YORK -- A new series on Freeform tells the story of a young woman with a troubled past who goes to work in a Manhattan apartment that's filled with plenty of secrets.
"The Watchful Eye" takes its title from the phrase meaning to watch closely, and the series does force people to pay attention in order to follow its twists and turns.
It's being called Hitchcockian -- a reference to the late, great Alfred Hitchcock who was famous for his thrillers like "Vertigo" and Psycho." Those are classics and hard to match, but this show is thrilling enough.
To even mention the master of suspense and suggest this show is worthy of comparison is to pay "The Watchful Eye" the ultimate compliment.
"Tension," is what comes to mind for the star when Mariel Molino is asked what Hitchcockian means to her: "Just always having that tension and never letting that tension cut because you're on the edge your seat."
Molino stars as Elena, a nanny hired to help a young boy after the death of his mother --who jumped or was pushed off a high floor in the building.
"Elena is on a quest for revenge, for reparations, for justice, and she has a dark, complicated past," Molina said.
Molina goes on to say the fictional Greybourne Building on Central Park West is, "the perfect backdrop for a show like this because it has this palace intrigue with this undercurrent of terror where nothing is really as it seems."
The star lends a special expertise to the role since she spent several years working as a nanny in real life while trying to pursue an acting career.
"Just like Elena you have to wear different masks, you have to toe the line between working for them and also being in a very intimate space with them," she said. "And, being a sense of authority for the children, but also you're not their parents."
As a child, Mariel knew she had to be a performer, but she followed a most unusual path to stardom. She honed her craft in Mexican telenovelas before landing a role on the short-lived ABC series, "The Promised Land," which led to "The Watchful Eye."
The new show makes full use of her varied background.
"Even though I'm Mexican, I'm also American," Molina said. "I live in this kind of bi-cultural world where I'm not 100% this and I'm not 100% that, so to get to come here and work here and work in New York City...that was a dream in itself."
Originally from the San Diego area, Mariel gives big credit to New York City for making her who she is today. She went to college at Loyola Marymount and studied acting in Manhattan.
Entertainment reporter Sandy Kenyon said watching her show and talking to her afterward was such a joy for that it didn't seem like work. And, that's the highest compliment he can pay.
"The Watchful Eye" is on Freeform -- owned by the same parent company as this station.