The first season of 'Revenge' is an extended thriller that dangles pieces of the puzzle in front viewers before hitting them with another inconceivable truth. It’s available on DVD August 21.
The premise of this new series grabbed people's attention at its launch. It's difficult not to be intrigued by a show that flaunts deception, betrayal, murder and a biblical approach to vengeance. It was also hard to predict how the show's creators would maintain its hold on audiences, but they made it a necessity to see what would happen next in the Hamptons every week. The first season of Revenge will have you on the edge of your seat for 22 episodes.
Emily Thorne (Emily VanCamp) was new to the neighbourhood, but her money opened a lot of doors; including the Grayson's. However she is like the wolf in sheep's clothing, methodically plotting and executing revenge against the people who framed her father and ruined her life. Socialite queen Victoria Grayson (Madeleine Stowe) is a primary target, but the list is long and Emily is thorough. From destroying careers to exposing darkly kept secrets, Emily crosses her enemies’ names off one-by-one. However, such an intricate plan is open to many complications, some of which could prove fatal to her or the people she cares about - because in spite of her best efforts she couldn't stay emotionally detached.
The series does an excellent job establishing the characters and drawing the audience into their lives. Flashbacks of Emily's childhood create a level of empathy with her cause. And the despicable nature of those on her hit list does nothing to gain the viewer's sympathy. She was not the first victim of their unscrupulous power, nor would she be their last. Ostracizing each other, using money to make their problems go away and treating everyone else as a means to an end is a way of life in the Hamptons. But when the roles are reversed, they turn on each other because trust is a luxury they could never afford.
The series is akin to a primetime soap opera, but the plots progress at a quicker pace and there's generally less slapping. VanCamp and Stowe make excellent rivals. As Emily, VanCamp's determination is flawless. But fleeting moments of genuine emotion show she's not as heartless as the people she punishes. On the other hand, Stowe could win over a room with just one smile and make it fall to its knees with a single glare. The supporting cast keeps the show interesting, whether you love or hate the characters.
Season two begins next month, but if you need to catch up a marathon of the first season is not a challenge.
Creator:Mike KelleyStarring:Madeleine Stowe, Emily VanCamp and Gabriel MannSpecial features include: commentary by creator Mike Kelley and actor VanCamp on the “Pilot” episode; “Nolan Ross Exposed”; “Roadmap to Revenge”; “At Home in ‘The Hamptons’”; “Haute Hamptons: Femme Fatale Fashion”; deleted scenes; bloopers; “Distance” music video by Christian Perri; “For You” music video by Angus and Julia Stone. (ABC Studios)