Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday – What is Going on at 666 Park Avenue?

Fall Television is officially here!  To celebrate, Amber West and I tuned in and watched two brand new ABC shows this week for our Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday reviews—Last Resort and 666 Park Avenue.

“What would you do to have everything you desire?”

Residents at The Drake apartment building in New York City have it all—wealth, success, and good fortune.  But in this building, all good things come at a price.  At 999 Park Avenue (the actual building’s address in the television series), a supernatural force demands possession of its residents’ souls in return.  So, be careful what you wish for tenants!

Based on the books by Gabriella Pierce, 666 Park Avenue stars Terry O’Quinn (Lost) as Gavin Doran, The Drake’s owner.  Gavin is clearly the direct source to the evil inside the building; without saying he’s the devil, he’s definitely the medium between the tenants and their “deals.”  If someone hopes for or wishes for something to Gavin, he can make it happen—kind of like making a deal with the devil.  Vanessa Williams (Desperate Housewives) plays Olivia, Gavin’s beautiful wife.  While we don’t know much about her yet, Olivia also seems to know the building’s and Gavin’s secrets.

Gavin and Olivia Doran…

New to The Drake are Jane (Rachael Taylor, the beautiful Australian actress from movies such as Transformers and Shutter) and her live-in boyfriend Henry (Dave Annable from Brothers & Sisters) The young couple takes the position as the apartment building’s new managers, but since Henry has a “real” job with the mayor’s office, Jane does most of the work around The Drake.  Now, Gavin has already stated his intentions for Jane to his wife—he will use Jane to get to Henry, whatever that means.  From the early stages, it looks like this “using” will consist of allowing Jane to “see” things around The Drake… by way of hauntings and visions.

Jane and Henry immediately meet Brian Leonard (Robert Buckley from One Tree Hill) and his wife Louise (Mercedes Masohn from The Finder), a few of The Drake’s tenants.  Brian is a struggling playwright and his wife is a recently successful photographer… and while we’re not quite sure if the Leonards have made a deal with Gavin or not, we do see the building take action against Louise in episode two AND it’s clear from the beginning that Brian is falling victim to the evil ways of seduction… but I don’t want to give too much away for those who haven’t seen it yet.

They also meet Nona (Samantha Logan), the youngest tenant at The Drake (that we know of).   Nona has a special gift—not only does she know everything that’s going on at the apartment building, she can also see into the future by possessing others’ precious keepsakes.  Nona warned Jane about the thief inside the building; but, little does Jane know that the thief herself is the one who told her all about the robberies.

Anyway, The Drake is a large building and there have been other tenants introduced as well; however, I’m quite certain some will never be heard from or seen again…

Jane and Henry…

Now, I watch a lot of television; therefore, in order for a new series to really grab me, I pay attention to more than just the actors and story.  I’ll admit, the words used to describe 666 Park Avenue interested me before I even watched the pilot episode—words like sexy, mysterious, and chilling.  But, I was still looking for more…

The first thing that grabbed me was the dialogue.  I personally love rich dialogue, but I particularly enjoy dialogue when used as an element of foreshadowing…

“The essential truth to who we are—we all want something.”  Gavin
“This place will keep you on your toes.”  Nona
“With ambition, there is risk.” Gavin
“You shouldn’t have come here.  They’re never going to let you go.”  Mrs. Barlow

Another aspect that hooked me is the—wait for it—elements of horror.  For the loyal readers of The Ooo Factor, you know that I love the horror genre, whether it is slashers or thrillers.  666 Park Avenue has just the right combination of both.  It has a supernatural component with the occasional appearance of ghosts, or the mysterious opening and closing of curtains, but it also has a spooky and psychological thrill feel to it.  Vanessa Williams mentioned in a TV interview that I saw that horror lovers would appreciate the collection of horror themes used in the new series.  So far, we’ve already witnessed the writers pay homage to one of the greatest horror writers of our time—Alfred Hitchcock—with the use of the “birds” and the Tippi Hedren reference in the dialogue.  Here’s to hoping there will be more…

Usually when I review a new television program, I can’t help but award it with the SSTV rating; but I’m breaking away from the norm today.  That’s right—I’m awarding 666 Park Avenue with the MacTV rating!  Turn off the lights, light a candle, and curl up on the sofa with a steaming bowl of Shells-N-Cheese and a glass of red wine as you watch the mystery at 999 Park Avenue unfold…

I really hope I’m not jumping the gun with this one… 666 Park Avenue is my cup of tea—heck, it might just be my new American Horror Story.

Oh, and Terry O’Quinn’s creepiness is brilliant!

666 Park Avenue… where the simple clink of a champagne glass is just as solid as signing a binding contract in blood.

Did you watch 666 Park Avenue?  How would you rate it?  If not, are you interested?   I’d love to hear from you!

Now click over to Amber’s blog and see what she thinks about ABC’s Last Resort.  I don’t know about anyone else, but I’m a HUGE Andre Braugher fan!

Come back next week when Amber and I review something… probably something new!

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

Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday – Just How Desperate are They?

This week, Amber West and I are flipping channels over to ABC and sharing our Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday reviews of Desperate Housewives and Body of Proof

We all mourned the loss of the ‘80s night-time soap operas Falcon Crest, Dallas, and Knots Landing.  But in 2004, the genre was revived with Mark Cherry’s Desperate Housewives when the television world was introduced to a close group of residents on a unique street in a fictional town.

The series begins with the mystery surrounding Mary Alice Young’s (Brenda Strong) suicide, one of the housewives on Wisteria Lane.  Her death leaves behind devastation to her closest friends and her family (husband Paul, played by Mark Moses, and son Zach). 

Mary Alice narrates Desperate Housewives at the beginning and at the end of each episode; she shares her friend’s secrets and paints a picture for the audience explaining how and why the housewives make the decisions they do.

Meet Susan Mayer (Teri Hatcher).

The series starts with Susan’s recent discovery that her husband Karl (Richard Burgi) has cheated on her.  She files for divorce and immediately takes a liking to the new neighbor, plumber Mike Delfino (James Denton), and marries him twice.  Susan is the classic train wreck – she’s quirky, loving, and genuine; but nothing seems to go her way. 

Meet Lynette Scavo (Felicity Huffman).

Lynette escapes her rough childhood by using her drive and intelligence to obtain a degree in Advertising.  She meets her husband Tom (Doug Savant) in college, and Lynette decides to change her career path to a stay-at-home-mom once she and Tom start a family.  Four kids later, the cabin fever sets in and Tom and Lynette switch roles – she goes back to work and he becomes Mr. Mom. 

Lynette’s ambitions take over and she begins to man-handle her husband constantly (think an alpha-dog or a my-way-or-the-highway sort of relationship).  Tom loves Lynette and for the longest time doesn’t fight back, until….sorry, no spoilers here.

Meet Bree Van de Camp (Marcia Cross).

Bree is described as Wisteria Lane’s Martha Stewart-Stepford Wife.  She’s a perfectionist and an obsessive compulsive with a side of neuroses.  A gun-toting Republican, Bree marries her first husband Rex (Steven Culp) and starts a picture-perfect family; until, that is, he cheats on her.  Bree files for divorce, Rex dies, Bree marries Orson Hodge (Kyle MacLachlan), and Bree later files for divorce.   

In and out of relationships and marriages, Bree finds her solace in the kitchen.  She briefly owns and operates a gourmet catering business until Rex’s son, from an affair, blackmails it away from her.      

Meet Gabrielle “Gaby” Solis (Eva Longoria). 

Abused by her step father, Gaby flees Texas and never looks back.  She takes her beauty to New York, its runways, and its magazine covers.  After years of a successful modeling career, Gaby meets her husband Carlos (Ricardo Antonio Chavira), a self-made wealthy and cut-throat businessman. 

These two have had it all – poverty and wealth, affairs and loyalty, blindness and beauty, superficial happiness and familiar bliss.  Kinda.  The laughs never stop with Gaby and Carlos; they are by far my favorite duo on the lane. 

Many other housewives have lived on the lane over the years including: Edie Britt (Nicollette Sheridan), the beautiful yet spiteful real estate agent, often times regarded to as the “neighborhood slut” by many of the girls for bedding Susan’s ex; Betty Applewhite (Alfre Woodard), the neighbor who keeps her son locked up in the basement; Katherine Mayfair (Dana Delany), the once-upon-a-time neighbor who returns with dark secrets surrounding the identity of her daughter; Angie Bolen (Drea de Matteo), the housewife running from the mafia; Renee Perry (Vanessa Williams), Lynette’s college best friend and recent divorce’ trying to define herself without her famous baseball player husband; and Karen McCluskey (Kathryn Joosten), the senior citizen neighbor who supports, babysits, and provides a bit of a reality check to the over-the-top housewives.

Desperate Housewives is a television dramedy at its finest.  For this reason, I must award the ladies of Wisteria Lane with a MacTV rating.  Guilty Pleasure?  Check.  Not Perfect?  Check?  Satisfying?  Definitely, Check. 

Honestly, can’t you just picture Susan, Lynette, Gaby, and Bree curling up to watch Falcon Crest with a warm bowl of Mac-N-Cheese?  Okay, well maybe not Bree….unless it was baked gourmet style with green chilis and bread crumbs. 

From watching each and every one of the seasons, this eighth and final season should close with a bang.  The history of Desperate Housewives proves that no one is safe.  It wouldn’t be out of the ordinary for some of the housewives to die or even go to jail.  It’s doubtful that Cherry will wrap everything up with a pretty red-bow, and for that, we thank you! 

Here’s to a doozy of a series finale coming this spring…..

What do you think? Have you watched Desperate Housewives?   Who is your favorite character? How do you think Mark Cherry will close out the series?  I’d love to hear from you!

Now click over to Amber’s blog and check out her review of a former Wisteria Lane housewife’s new show, Body of Proof

Come back next week when Amber and I talk some laughs with a double dose of TV’s new comedies: Suburgatory, New Girl, Up All Night, and 2 Broke Girls

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
JFTV (Junk food TV): It’s not great for us, but we’ll go back for seconds
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

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