Revenge Pilot Review: a guilty pleasure this season

19 Sep

I tend to believe in an eye for an eye.  I also believe in karma.  Sometimes, I think,  it’s just easier to forgive and move on because the person who screwed you over isn’t worth your time or energy.  Mostly, I believe, it all comes down to the transgression committed against any one person.  Now, if you don’t have the energy to wait for karma, because sometimes it is very slow going, you might get a few ideas watching ABC’s new Wednesday night drama premiering on the 21st at 10pm/9pm central, Revenge.

If you would like to watch the pilot episode early, you can do what I did, go to the Gilt City website and sign up for free access.  They should send you a voucher email with a code good before Wednesday for you to preview online.


The premise is simple:  Amanda Clarke/Emily Thorne (Emily VanCamp) lived with her wealthy father, Dave Clarke (Marc Blucas – he’s great in Necessary Roughness) who managed a hedge fund.  He was set up by his business partner, Conrad Grayson (Henry Czerny), and Grayson’s wife, Victoria (Madeleine Stowe, who we will learn in the pilot episode was also Dave’s secret lover), to take the fall for funneling cash to a terrorist organization which led to a terrorist attack on a plane killing everyone on board.  Clarke was tried and imprisoned for treason.  A young Amanda watched her father be taken away and ended up in juvenile hall until she was released at 18.   As she leaves the jail, she’s greeted by a friend of her father’s, Nolan Ross (Gabriel Mann), informing her that her father is dead, she is rich and he wasn’t really a bad guy.  She decides to take revenge on every person that helped destroy her father’s life.

The trend this year seems to be TV Noir.  At least with the shows I’ve started watching.  This is all about a crime and deception, femmes fatales and double-crosses, and in true noir fashion, it is a melodrama, my favorite noir hybrid.  It’s sleek and slick.  It’s hard not to enjoy these sanctimonious characters being brought to their knees by a petite blonde girl who is very pissed off but so cool and cold on the surface you’d never guess she wants you dead or destroyed, or both.  I’ll admit it feels a bit too stylish at times but usually it is the stylish ones who are destroyed on this show, so you don’t have to feel too guilty indulging yourself for an hour once a week.  It’s less calories than eating Godiva chocolates.  And you can live vicariously.  I also love how Amanda, who is now known as Emily Thorne (what a symbolic last name), is never vilified.  Instead, when she does something bad, we get a flashback to her idyllic life with her father and the dog, Sammy, that loved her as a puppy and recognizes her as an adult.  Sammy has been adopted by the kid who had a crush on her, now the local bartender and sailor, Jack Porter (Nick Wechsler).  We see Jack’s love for Amanda/Emily runs deep.  He seems to be the one who kills for her at the beginning of the show. Or at least he’s disposing of the body, which is that of Emily’s finance, Daniel Grayson (Joshua Bowman), son of the man and woman who set up her father.  Quite frankly, he reminds me of the smug Wall Street guys on the subway who I’d like to smack at times so I really didn’t feel bad when he got blown away.  I suppose I’m the audience for this show, someone who enjoys watching others get blood on their hands, wishing, in some ways, I could do that.  It somehow looks so satisfying.  The show is created by Mike Kelley whose writing credits include Jericho, The O.C., and One Tree Hill so you know there will be plot twists and turns to satisfy any highly dramatic needs.

I know I’ll be watching this season.  This show is already deemed my guilty pleasure this fall.

Revenge airs on ABC at 10pm Wednesday nights (9pm central).

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