March 25, 2013

Better Late Than Never? Part #3 - Revenge

There are a few dramas on ABC which I did not watch from the beginning but suspect might be worth my time. In this series, "Better Late Than Never?" I watch a few episodes of a show and let you know what I think as a latecomer. Was I better late than never?

Part #3: Revenge

From the promos, I gathered that this show was about a woman avenging her father's death. (As it turns out, she's actually avenging the fact that he was framed for a crime he didn't commit and sentenced to life in prison.) I didn't know that the show is loosely based on Dumas's The Count of Monte Cristo. Revenge centers around the main character's duplicity. I joined the show in Season 2, Episode 16, "Illumination" and also watched this past week's, "Victory." In the course of her vengeance, Emily returns to her childhood summer home, takes on a false identity, and things get complicated. At least in the two episodes I watched, her true self seems always to be on the verge of being found out. So I was kept near, if not directly on, the edge of my seat.


The very cheesy intro graphics could have turned me away, but Revenge actually held my interest. The acting is solid - especially Emily VanCamp's  performance. Her "Emily Thorne" brings to mind Jennifer Garner's "Sydney Bristow." Perhaps because "Emily" is an alias, but also because VanCamp,  like Garner, excels at making the smooth transition between her honest serious face and her deceptive happy one. 

What I missed as a latecomer: A whole lot of plot. Who is trustworthy? I'm supposed to be on Emily's side, right? To whom is she telling the truth? To whom is she lying? I'm not sure, and as a latecomer, I'm definitely not sure what I'm already supposed to know. In addition to the vengeance plot line, there's a political plot line, a mob plot line, a business fraud plot line, and none of them seem particularly connected. If that sounds complicated, it's because this show is rife with complications. I have a feeling, though, that that's what makes it good. 

The Verdict: Better Late Than Never?
Maybe. Particularly if you are a fan of soaps, complex mystery plots, or shows about the lives of the 1%. But you'll have to be really committed, because you'll need to catch up. And it might not be worth it, as the critics aren't giving the second season very rave reviews

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