First Impressions


Aired on: ABC

Reviewed by Melissa Minners

            When I saw the promos for the new ABC drama Revenge, I was intrigued, but I wondered what kind of shelf life a show centered around a young girlís need for revenge against a family that wronged her would have.  I decided to check Revenge out when it premiered 10pm EST on Wednesday, September 21, 2011.

            The series opens with a party for Emily Thorne (Emily VanCamp) and her fiancťe Daniel Grayson (Joshua Bowman).  Itís a big shindigÖa loud affair, so no one notices that a murder is taking place on the beach nearby. 

            Flash back six months to Emily returning to the home she once lived in located in The Hamptons.  She hasnít been there in seventeen years.  Back then, she went under a different name and her memories of the house were mixed.  She had enjoyed the time alone with her father, combing the beach and having fun, but then it happened - her father was taken from her and she lost the life she loved.  Her father had been betrayed by the very people he called friends, sent to jail for a crime he didnít commit.

            On her eighteenth birthday, Emily (then Amanda) learned the truth about her father and vowed to take revenge.  Her first action is to rent out the house she stayed in as a child.  Her second is to wend her way into the lives of the Graysons, a family who lived across the way.  The Graysons played a big part in her fatherís destruction and she has big plans for them.  She starts off by exposing an affair that Conrad Grayson (Henry Czerny) is having with his wifeís best friend, a woman who just happened to have testified against Emilyís father at his trial.  But its Victoria Grayson (Madeleine Stowe), matriarch of the family, that she really wants to hurt.  This is only the beginning.

            There are a few other twists in this drama - a young boy named Jack who carried a torch for Emily still lives in The Hamptons and owns a boat named after her.  Jack owns a dog named Sammy who still remembers his previous owner.  Then thereís Nolan Ross (Gabriel Mann).  He knows everything about Emily.  It was Nolan who revealed the truth to Emily and he would like nothing more than to help Emily take down the elite families who put her father in prison.  Unfortunately, Emily doesnít want his help, leaving Nolan feeling somewhat betrayed himself.

            The show was interesting although I was a bit annoyed by flashing back then forward then way back then forward again.  I did enjoy watching Emily exact her revenge in little ways throughout the first episode.  However, I still wonder about the shelf life of this series.  Just how long can it take for Emily to finally broker the revenge she seeks.  And what then?  When vengeance is taken, how will the story continue?  Or will they drag out this revenge seeking over a couple of seasons?

            Much as I enjoy Emily VanCampís acting, the couple of twists and turns of the plot, and the fact that there are still many secrets left to reveal, I donít think Iíll be adding Revenge to my already busy schedule.  I remember a show I fell in love with called Reunion.  I had known that show wouldnít have much of a shelf life when I started watching it, but I really got into it, only to have my hopes dashed when they wouldnít even let the show complete its season.  Revenge seems to be the same type of show and I donít want to find myself vested in its outcome, only to find it canceled before the really good plot stuff starts happening.


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