Editor: Please welcome guest author Estelle who will tracking the twisting storylines wrapped up in ABC’s new drama Revenge.
Revenge is sweet and… perplexing?
Whoever said everything is better in the Hamptons was obviously not at Emily Thorne’s engagement party. Fireworks explode, masking the sound of gun shots. David, the groom, is missing and as Emily’s future mother-in-law enchants the crowd with a warm (sarcasm, learn it) congratulatory speech, you know exactly what has happened… kind of. That’s the general feeling I had while watching Revenge last night. You sort of know, and then you have no idea all over again.
The newest ABC drama definitely knows how to keep the mystery alive.
After the opening scene, viewers are transported to five months before when a fresh-faced and flawless Emily (Emily VanCamp of Everwood) decides to rent a house in Southampton, New York – land of the wealthy and fabulous with a beachy backdrop. It’s not just any house, but the home she once shared with her father when she was a little girl, then known as Amanda. Cue some more flashbacks. We soon realize that Emily is not there to ride a wave of nostalgia but to make her own waves within the affluent crowd that unjustly brought her father down 17 years ago.
Get it? Revenge.
Clumsily, this first episode reveals several of the characters we saw in the engagement scene and introduces many intertwining storylines. I felt like I needed a scorecard, a map, and a glass of wine to keep up. But I’m hoping that this tangled mess will become easier to navigate as the series continues. There are many questions still left to be answered, and I’m sure much more chaos to look forward to.
Most of the time I have no interest in a series of this nature – murders, affairs, the insignificant problems of the wealthy – it’s a soap opera waiting to happen. But Revenge pulls it off. Emily VanCamp effectively portrays this two-faced woman who in one moment is scheming with the elite and in the other, bombarded with memories of her past. She is one tough cookie, and a smart one too. The level of dedication she has to this cause is beyond impressive. I have to mention Victoria (Madeliene Stowe) – the future mother-in-law I mentioned earlier – who stares out the windows of her estate like the evil stepmother in Cinderella; she has her own secrets and her own reputation to live up to as well. It’s a difficult job; you do not want to cross this lady.
One bright spot was the unrequited love subplot. I’m a sucker for those. At one point, Emily bumps into an old friend, Jack, from the days her dad was still alive. Of course, she couldn’t just say: “Hi It’s Amanda, remember me?!” This is one untarnished storyline that has nothing to do finding justice for her dad. It’s about the old her, a much happier person. I know, I know. It’s going to be a long and bumpy road if Emily and Jack manage to get together and she manages to tell him the truth but I liked it. Even if they were in the same scene for only a moment.
Revenge has potential as an intriguing and mysterious series. The writing may not be life-altering, but the actors are definite eye candy and for those of you who are WB/CW addicts like I am, there’s a reunion flourishing on this show. (In addition to VanCamp on Everwood, there’s Nick Wechsler [Jack] from Roswell, Connor Paolo [Declan] from Gossip Girl, and Gabriel Mann [David] from Nikita.) While it’s too early to tell whether this ultra-complicated and incestuous story line is doomed to become a cliché, I’m definitely hooked enough to see where the twists and turns will take me… and to figure out just what is going on, of course.
Revenge is on Wednesday evenings at 10pm on ABC. Check out abc.com to view the full first episode.