So here I was, all prepared to issue a "mea culpa" about Revenge, which, until last night, was proving a remarkably delicious, confectionery treat to top off my Wednesday evenings.
I loved the pilot script, thought the pilot was lacking (and potentially very confusing to people who hadn't read the script).
Future episodes played better, almost a procedural of Emily Vancamp-Thorne-Walker taking REVENGE on someone through sometimes obvious, sometimes underhanded methods, all the while espousing the world's most monotonous theme-anviling voiceover and smirking and giving shifty-dead eyes that no one seemed to notice.
Also Madeline Stowe wears the shit out of every dress.
Also DEAR GOD Josh Bowman (Daniel) is gorgeous. And HOW AWESOME is Emily that she's so cold and calculating and amoral that she is SLEEPING WITH HOT DANIEL while systematically taking REVENGE (she really does need to shout that word, Sideshow Bob style, after every sentence... "Ah, Kettle chips. The perfect sidedish for... REVENGE!") on his family, and possibly on him.
Also the character they introduced as Daniel's college friend (who is, obviously, secretly poor—QUELLE HORREUR—and, I believe "super secretly" evil gay) is summering in the Hamptons with the Graysons in The Biggest House Ever, yet shares a bedroom and shower with Hot Daniel. RIDICULOUS.
Also what the hell is Connor Paolo's accent, given that neither his fictional father nor his fictional older brother speak with anything remotely like it?
The show, clearly, has so much going for it in the campy guilty pleasure department.
But, still, a big problem I've been having with the show is that there is very little actual drama to it. Emily (and pouty kind of sidekick Nolan) have everything worked out (they have had 8 years to prepare for it since she got out of juvie/whatever/backstory/zzzzzz) that it's all going marvelously flawlessly. Y'know what that means? It means it's boring, or at least more boring that it could be.
Real drama happens when characters have their backs against the wall and have to get out of sticky situations.
I was really excited for last night's episode based on the previews (that'll learn me, especially given every other promo for the show has some version of Madeline Stowe saying "I know your secret" but it turns out to be a dream and/or she's talking to her husband and/or vamping to some member of her staff of thousands) because things, finally, seemed to not be going according to plan when Emily blustered that Lydia (Madeline Stowe's ex-friend who was sleeping with Rich Dad in the pilot) FALLING TO HER COMA (ugh, really, she's not dead? Really? I'm fine that you're going to bring Amber Valetta back, but at least do it as an evil septuplet... because you know she's going to wake up from the coma with explosive amnesia) was not part of her plan.
But things kind of went along swimmingly, anyway. So last night's episode was a big ol' letdown.
Emily did not really seem to take REVENGE on anyone last night. There was no magnificent takedown (unless you count Secret Gay drugging Hot Daniel, then failing to seal the deal when he took Daniel upstairs to "sleep it off" in the poor family's / other love interest's apartment above the bar... and what was that montage scene at the end with Jack looking at Daniel when he came home from the party and the bar was already closed? Was he proud that Daniel worked himself so hard through his double-shift that he was taking a nap? Was he angry? Was he told that Daniel mysteriously disappeared after his enabling, secretly gay, secretly poor best friend drugged him? WHAT THE HELL WAS HE THINKING????).
I didn't realize how much I was craving the procedural-ish element of the show until the show didn't give it to me. Emily didn't want anything last night. She wasn't even really cleaning up the mess Nolan made-ish for her. She was just... dating. Which is a problem, but I respected her when she was an amoral whore slutting it up for with rich, hot guy while scheming REVENGE. But according to next week's promo (Travis, what did you just say? Why have you learned NOTHING), she says she's falling in love with him? I realize this is all part of her evil scheme... but it's so much more interesting/unique (JMHO) if she is really this cold, calculating bitch.
Meanwhile Hot Daniel's Secretly Poor, "Secretly Gay" Evil Best Friend is scheming to... what, exactly? He's already gotten the internship (and Wall Street internships are bank, yo, my younger brother made like $10K in a couple months when he did his years back). And, um, sorry, but when you bang your own head against a blue-painted telephone pole, you don't get a horizontal gash on your forehead. You get bruising. And a concussion. And a skull fracture, perhaps. And even if you do get a gash, YOU GET A SCAR. HOT DANIEL WILL NOT WANT YOU, "SECRETLY GAY" FRIEND, IF YOU HAVE A SCAR ON YOUR FOREHEAD. Unless that just happens to be his thing, that might make Daniel more interesting instead of just man candy.
Where was I? Oh, right. I'm confused about Daniel's friend's motivations. But Emily is onto the fact that he's Secretly Poor, so hopefully she'll chase his ass back to the jitney so he can join the Other 99% in the Occupy Wall Street protests.
Meanwhile, Madeline Stowe's bodyguard? Security chief? New secret boyfriend after James Tupper was sent to jail and died? He's onto Emily. Thank god. Because this shit was gonna get real boring (despite all the WTF listed above) if there was no real noose-tightening going on.
Madeline Stowe did not get much to do last night. I mean, she stood on the veranda in a dress and was stoically angry and that was just about it. Eric Van Der Woodsen had more to do, and his plotline involved dipping his big toe into the Wall Street pond by using banker jargon, stealing, and learning a valuable lesson about the market value of lobster futures.
I don't know, guys. I just don't know. I'm so clearly, unexpectedly invested in this show. I want it to be horrible, yet good, which I realize is an almost impossible tightrope to walk, but the last few weeks have been so delicious and almost-dramatically satisfying, just like a good cotton candy puff piece of nothingness should be.
Although I might have just been in a bad mood because Happy Endings had what I thought was its worst episode ever (but, thankfully / paradoxically / go-figure-ally, its highest rated) immediately beforehand.