06 September 2011

First Thoughts: "REVENGE" - Best Served With a Side of Emily Van Camp

"Revenge" is a new drama series set to premiere this coming Sept 21. I first blogged about it here, noting how fast this series' license sold in the international market.

I have no idea how much buzz this show is getting in it's main market, the American audience. But judging by the feedback I'm reading online, it doesn't look like a lot of people have heard of this.

Is that a good thing or a bad thing?

Revenge's official synopis:
Wealth, beauty and status define the people in this town, but one woman is willing to destroy everyone for the sake of revenge. Emily Thorne (Emily Van Camp) is new to the Hamptons. She's met some of her wealthy neighbors, has made a few new friends and seemingly blends into the town. But something is a little odd about a young girl living in a wealthy town all on her own, and the truth is that Emily isn't exactly new to the neighborhood. In fact, this was once her old neighborhood, until something bad happened that ruined her family and their reputation. Now Emily is back, and she's returned to right some of those wrongs in the best way she knows how - with a vengeance.
Sometimes, not knowing much about a new show springs a few surprises for me, that I'm pleased I've decided I was going to check it out.  Sometimes, not knowing anything and still deciding to watch the show can be a complete waste of time. Like, 40 or so minutes of my life I'm not getting back.

I was halfway through Revenge when I thought nothing was holding my attention. I was ready to fold knowing there are still 30+ other new programs to watch until October.

But then something happened and turned it all around for me. I think it was that moment when Emily Thorne showed just where she can go with her plan and how vengeful she can become.

Emily was able to expose an affair between the "queen" of the Hamptons, her husband and her best friend.

And just like that, she was able to eliminate one person from her list.

This was just scratching the surface.

I read somewhere that Revenge is like a modern way of re-telling The Count of Monte Cristo, a rich tale of love, vengeance and forgiveness.

Towards the end of the pilot, there was this letter from Emily's dad, which, I have to admit, sold me. SIDEBAR: Emily is actually Amanda.

 My dear Amanda, 
If you're reading this, then two things have come to pass: I'm finally able to provide you with the life you were unjustly denied. And sadly I won't be able to share that life with you. I hope these journals provide answers to all the questions you've had all these years. 
I am not the man they say I am. I did not do the things they say I did. All I ask is that you promise to do the one thing that's been so hard for me to do. 

The letter was followed by Emily's narrative, saying her reasons for why she is doing this. Although it's vague, one could sense that Emily's anger is deep. And there is more she plans to do.

Emily Van Camp --- who starred in Everwood and became more familiar to me on Brothers and Sisters --- I thought was a miscast, at first.  I couldn't picture her as vindictive. Coz how could someone with a face as sweet and angelic as hers have this dark side?

And then I got it. It's all part of the plan. No one would suspect her motives.

This should be really interesting to watch. But it would take a few more episodes to say if this show is engagingly good.

Or if the writers will be able to sustain the narrative.

Or if it beats CSI's ratings (with Ted Danson new to the cast).

One last thing to note: How bad is this poster's art work, huh? I get black and thorns represent vengeance. But must Emily look like Ursula from The Little Mermaid?