First published on 5 Jan 2012. Updated on 5 Jan 2012.
It’s hump day. It’s been a tough week. You’re ready to curl up on the sofa, comfort eat whatever’s left in the fridge and take a dose of self-medicated trash TV to numb the pain. Here to answer our guilty-pleasure prayers is Revenge, a new US network drama full to the brim with sex, murder and hot, scheming rich people (as promised by the teaser ads, slowly killing Coldplay’s ‘Paradise’). How could this possibly disappoint?
Loosely inspired by Dumas’ The Count of Monte Cristo, Revenge is a nice, tidy (you guessed it) revenge drama set in the Hamptons. Our heroine Emily Thorne (played by Brothers and Sisters actress Emily Van Camp) is young, rich and new to town. But Emily isn’t really new and she isn’t really Emily: she’s Amanda, and she grew up in the beach house with her father, who was mysteriously arrested and imprisoned for a crime he didn’t commit. Now Emily is back and ready to dish out a world of payback.There are cheesy kiddie-cam flashbacks to Emily and her father in the good old days. They love each other “infinity times infinity” (please). In a potential romantic side story Jack Porter (Nick Wechsler) hankers after a girl he once knew called Amanda (Emily). His clever dog Sammy seems to have made the connection, but will Jack twig? Probably not for a whole series. Emily’s ultimate nemesis is Victoria Grayson (Madeline Stowe) – “Queen of the Hamptons”. She sits on a throne, likes to make crafty phone calls from her turret; she’s practically the Wicked Witch of the West. Come on Stowe! We want cackling, we want bitch fights, we want camp!
There are bright patches in the subplot of cutie-pie Declan Porter (Gossip Girl’s Connor Paolo) as he tries to win over the too-cool, too-pretty Charlotte Grayson (Christa B Allen), and in wisecracking man-about-town Nolan Ross (Gabriel Mann), who is just too smart, too wealthy and has no friends. But Revenge is a lot like too many other trashy shows, just not as good: Gossip Girl (better clothes), The OC (better soundtrack), Brothers and Sisters (better scriptwriting), and The Hills (you know, more real).
Revenge screens Wednesdays at 10pm on Seven from February.