You’ve seen the commercials. You’ve heard the hype. Now there’s only one thing you want to know: Which of the new fall shows are worth watching and which should be avoided at all costs? In this continuing series, we give you the scoop on some of the most highly-anticipated shows of the season, with today’s focus being REVENGE, the much anticipated star-making vehicle for EVERWOOD’s Emily Van Camp.
The Boilerplate: Since these pilot presentations may go through numerous rewrites and casting changes prior to premiere, this by no means should be considered an official review. Rather a preview of what one can expect come Fall.
The Plot: Emily Thorne (Emily Van Camp) is new to the Hamptons. She’s met some of her wealthy neighbors, has made a few new friends and seemingly blends into the town. But something is a little odd about a young girl living in a wealthy town all on her own, and the truth is that Emily isn’t exactly new to the neighborhood. In fact, this was once her old neighborhood, until something bad happened that ruined her family and their reputation. Now Emily is back, and she’s returned to right some of those wrongs in the best way she knows how – with a vengeance.
The First Impression: Is good news, particularly if you’re a fan of Emily Van Camp, who, after umpteen seasons of playing second fiddle on the likes of BROTHERS & SISTERS (RIP) and EVERWOOD (RIP), more than proves she’s capable of carrying her own show. In fact, as Emily Thorne, the young girl intent on exacting revenge on the wealthy and powerful Hamptons community responsible for her father’s incarceration, Van Camp not only manages to perfectly balance the conniving and manipulative side of her character while ensuring she remains both sympathetic and likeable, she does so while holding her own against a slew of high profile veteran actors including Madeleine Stowe and Henry Czerny, who in typical TV tradition aren’t quite the happily married couple they appear to be. What’s more, thanks to a Count of Monte Cristo-esque premise, coupled with an arena (The Hamptons) in which everybody is suspect, REVENGE has all the markings of a maddeningly addictive nighttime sudser that would make Aaron Spelling proud. Assuming of course it can alleviate…
The Concern: Which — aside from the somewhat serialized flashback heavy pilot that may-or-may-not make attracting new viewers a challenge — is the not-so-compatible Wednesday at 10PM timeslot. A timeslot that over the course of the past few seasons has quietly transformed itself into ABC’s Bermuda Triangle equivalent (RIP UGLY BETTY) leaving us to wonder where have all the viewers gone. That said…
The Verdict: Has us cautiously optimistic that the third time is the charm for talented showrunner Mike Kelley, whose previous work includes SWINGTOWN (RIP) and JERICHO (RIP).
REVENGE premieres on Wednesday September 21st on ABC this Fall (CityTV in Canada)