Thursday, 12 July 2012

Do you love drama? Are you intrigued by complex, manipulative characters? Do you love the idea of getting close to the people who destroyed your loved ones and taking them apart, piece by piece?

If the answer to any of these questions is yes, you might just enjoy a little show called Revenge.

The show is set in the Hamptons. A wealthy young woman named Emily Thorne (played by Emily Van Camp) has just rented a house for the season, planning to attend parties and charity functions and move in the social circles of the ultra-rich. At the pinnacle of this social circle are the Graysons, a billionaire family including matriarch, Victoria (played brilliantly by Madelaine Stowe). She rules the social scene, dotes on her two children, and supports her tycoon husband Conrad. At least, on the surface.

In reality, not only is Conrad unfaithful, but his cutthroat approach to business and questionable moral integrity means the skeletons in their family closet are the kind people get murdered over. And in reality, Emily Thorne is not really a socialite. Her real name is Amanda Clarke, and, years earlier, her father was framed and imprisoned as part of a cover up by the Graysons. Amanda never saw him again, and now, she has returned to the Hamptons to wreak revenge on the people who destroyed her family.

Revenge has been described as Gossip Girl meets Veronica Mars, and really, that's not too far off. The storyline is roughly based on The Count of Monte Cristo, substituting the men of Paris in the 1800s with wealthy American women. I enjoyed the change; Emily and Victoria are both uniquely ruthless for female characters, and their passive-aggressive circling (which sometimes turns aggressive-aggressive) makes for damn good TV. Emily schemes and manipulates, working her way through the ranks of people involved in the cover up, exposing their secrets and taking them down. She starts with her father's ex-friends and business partners, working her way closer and closer to Victoria, whose betrayal of David Clarke Emily considers worst of all as they were romantically involved at the time of his arrest. Victoria used her relationship with David to help frame him, and for that, she is the one person Emily wishes to hurt most of all. (She starts by getting herself engaged to Victoria's beloved son Daniel...)

As the first season progresses, more of the David Clarke story is revealed, complicating Emily's quest for vengeance (as if it wasn't already complicated enough...). It all spirals out of her control, and the storylines are excellently handled, with a zillion intriguing plot twists. The scheming, the take-downs, the fantastic clothes, the glittering parties, and the constant underlying themes of accountability and punishment aimed at the very rich and morally bankrupt... it's all very satisfying. And there's a heap of soap opera classics - the husband having an affair with the best friend; the innocent man on trial for murder; the slightly psychotic gold-digger; the secretly illegitimate child - played out with commitment to making the best kind of melodrama. I can't wait until someone gets amnesia and an evil twin!

So anyway, if all of this sounds like your cup of tea? Get into it. This show is a good time.

In case you need more convincing, the cast looks like this...

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...