This week Amber West and I review two of TV’s top dramas on Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday: a returning NBC favorite, Parenthood, and the new ABC smash hit, Revenge.
Revenge has been called the return of the night time soap opera, and the critics and viewers may be right. The new drama loosely based on the Alexandre Dumas’ novel, The Count of Monte Cristo, stars Emily VanCamp as Emily Thorne, a young and beautiful addition to the rich and prestigious Hamptons. However, Emily’s arrival isn’t her first trip to the neighborhood…
When she was a little girl, Amanda Clarke and her father lived in the quaint beach house next door to her father’s boss and his mansion (known as Grayson Manor). Late one night, Amanda’s father was ripped away from her for crimes that later sent him to prison for the rest of his life. Not necessarily believing in his innocence, Amanda rebelled and spent time in incarceration herself. The day Amanda was released from prison, she was greeted by a stranger with life changing news: her father was dead, he had been framed, and she was now filthy rich.
Amanda’s father had believed in and secretly invested in a young man named Nolan Ross (Gabriel Mann) when no one else would. Nolan awarded Mr. Clarke forty-nine percent of his company in return for the investment, and his investment was now worth millions. When Amanda’s father died in prison, all of his assets were awarded to her. But something greater came with these riches – a map and an explanation to each and every person responsible for framing her father and sending him to prison. Amanda assumes a new identity as Emily Thorne (the name of her closest friend in juvenile detention) and spends the next eight years of her life setting her plan in to motion, vowing revenge against those responsible for her father’s downfall – primarily the Grayson family.
After establishing herself around the world as an educated and philanthropic young lady, Emily returns to the Hamptons and rents the beach house where she spent time with her father; the house where he was so abruptly taken from her. In practically every episode, Emily destroys someone involved with her father’s demise: her father’s assistant and current mistress to Conrad Grayson, Lydia Davis (Amber Valletta); her father’s closest friend and a corrupt hedge fund manager, Bill Harmon (Matthew Glave); and the district attorney and current state senator, Tom Kingsley (Yancey Arias) to just name a few.
But these are not Emily’s prime targets. Enter Conrad Grayson (Henry Czemy), the CEO of her father’s company who spearheaded the entire take-down, and his not-so-loyal wife, Victoria Grayson (Madeleine Stowe).
To make matters worse, Victoria idly stood by and watched her lover (Amanda’s father) taken away in handcuffs. Yes, that’s right – Victoria and David Clarke actually loved each other. And little Amanda witnessed the entire thing – the love affair and Victoria’s standing outside the door as the police arrested her father. Oh, and just wait and see what this secret romance created…
How will Emily destroy the Graysons? Will she involve their son, Daniel Grayson (Joshua Bowman); the man she’s slowly but surely seducing? The pilot episode begins at Emily and Daniel’s engagement party with Daniel’s lying bleeding on the Hampton beach from gunshot wounds….so probably.
Or will the “real” Emily Thorne, assuming the identity of Amanda Clarke (played by Margarita Levieva) expose the entire charade before “our” Emily has the chance to exact her revenge on the Grayson family?
And what about Emily’s childhood friend, Jack Porter (Nick Wechler), who adopted her puppy when she and her father were ripped away from their beach house? The same love-sick boy turned man who named his boat Amanda? “Our” Emily has worked feverishly to protect Jack, but couldn’t stand in the way when the “real” Emily also fell in love with the bar owner. Will he remain in the dark? Will he learn the truth? And when/if he does, how will he respond?
Oh, I could go on and on. As if the title of today’s blog wasn’t clear enough, Revenge scores the highest of the highest WatchWed scores – the GTV rating. It’s not gourmet because the series showcases what life in the Hamptons is all about – money, prestige, lavish homes, elaborate parties, and endless wardrobes, but because the storyline each and every week leaves such a sweet taste of revenge in our mouths that we simply can’t wait until the next episode.
If I could award Revenge with an even higher rating, I would. How’s TBMIEH TV – The Best Meal I’ve Ever Had Television? So that’s not a real rating here at Watch Wednesday, but it gets my point across. I often say Revenge is my favorite of all of the new programs this 2012 season, but it may just be my favorite series that I’m watching today. Period.
Revenge is infinitely sweet…
What do you think? Do you watch Revenge? Who’s your favorite character? If you had all of Emily’s resources and a similar childhood story, would you exact revenge on those responsible? I’d love to hear from you!
Now click over to Amber’s blog and read her thoughts on Parenthood, the show, not her motherly experiences.
Come back next week when we review two new (or maybe old) TV shows. We like to keep everyone on their toes.
Remember to stop by the #watchwed hashtag in Twitter to discuss any of today’s reviews, or to mention any television programs that you’d like to see on Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday in the future.
A Recap of The WatchWed Review System:
GTV (Gourmet TV): Everything we want and more
MacTV (MacNCheese TV): Guilty pleasure. Not perfect, but is satisfies
GMacTV (Gourmet MacNCheese TV): A combination of fine wine and comfort food
JFTV (Junk food TV): It’s not great for us, but we’ll go back for seconds
TBPTV (Twice Baked Potato TV): Part gourmet and delicious, while absolutely horrible for our cholesterol
SSTV (Still Simmering TV): It has potential, but the jury is still out
NIV (Nyquil Induced Viewing): Perfect for that late night television sleep timer
LOTV (Liver&Onions TV): Do we really have to explain? Blech