5 Reasons To Watch ABC’s Revenge
Revenge is ABC’s new hit drama, set in the Hamptons and starring Emily Van Camp as Emily Thorne, a young woman seeking revenge on those who wronged her father and ruined his life. The pilot episode premiered to an audience of over 10 million, with episode 2 drawing in excess of 8 million viewers. If you’re asking yourself why you should watch, take a look at our top 5 reasons before deciding.
1. The Premise
The premise for the show is a straight up revenge tale, ala The Count of Monte Cristo. Each week we get to see Emily choose another victim, and each week we know we’re going to see that person get their just desserts by the time the credits roll. And there’s an enormous amount of satisfaction to be had in that simple set up. Revenge doesn’t try to be clever or ironic. There are no twists or plot devices and the show must be commended for sticking to a straightforward but strong story-telling structure.
2. The Set up
Revenge is also deliciously over the top. The characters are all fabulously wealthy and good looking and quaff champagne like they’re dying of thirst. Scenes play out on yachts, in mansions and polo clubs and the weather is always sunny. However for all the glitz and glamor, Revenge doesn’t give way to melodrama in the same way a soap opera would, opting instead for a smart, focused and (outwardly at least) unemotional heroine who would rather just get the job done than sit around languishing in grief and regret.
3. The Hot Guys
There is no shortage of eye candy on this show. One might be forgiven for thinking the male cast was chosen to appeal to a range of female fantasies. But don’t just take my word for it. See for yourself. In clockwork order there is:
Nick Wechsler who plays brooding Jack Porter, one of the few characters on the show unburdened by wealth. Jack spends most of his time lifting heavy things (manual labor!) and brooding down by the docks. His hobbies include playing with his dog, growing manly stubble and pining for his lost childhood love, Amanda. Jack’s father’s business is in financial straits and Jack will do anything to help him, even if it means selling the ‘Amanda,’ his prized yacht. The fact that Jack holds a torch for Amanda yet finds himself strangely attracted to Emily, without realizing they are the same person, makes their scenes together very watchable. Jack is the proverbial spanner in the works where Emily’s plans are concerned.
Gabriel Mann is Nolan Ross, technical genius, internet billionaire, suspect dresser and a little bit lonely. Nolan’s mercurial nature and refusal to play games of social etiquette means he has very few friends. He is the only person in the Hamptons who knows that Emily is really Amanda. Nolan has sworn to help Emily plot her revenge but she is reluctant to believe his claim that he owes his vast fortune and his loyalty to her father.
Josh Bowman plays Daniel Grayson, the cosseted son of wealthy socialites Victoria and Conrad Grayson. While not playing polo or beach volleyball, spoiled rich kid Daniel is now trying to put his past behind him, including an incident involving a cocktail waitress, an excess of alcohol and a car crash. Daniel feels the urge to break away from his parents and their expectations of him, but we get the impression he is a little bit lost. He is essentially a good guy and we almost feel sorry for him as we watch Emily working her way a little further into his life each week. It may all end in tears for Daniel – or perhaps a few bullets in the back.
Conor Paolo is Declan Porter, younger brother of Jack. Declan has grown up surrounded by wealthy neighbors but his humble Porter origins have made him envious and resentful. Young, fun-loving and impetuous, Declan struggles each week to attract the attentions of Charlotte Grayson (Christa B. Allen), often biting off more than he can chew.
4. The Strong Female Leads
Revenge has found a cool and clever lead in Emily VanCamp as Emily Thorne, a character who is by turns charming and ruthless, sweet and icy cold. It stands to reason that a character this complex is going to need a nemesis worthy of the task, and that nemesis is Victoria Grayson, played with subtle aplomb by Madeleine Stowe. Victoria is the undisputed queen of her empire and she didn’t land the job by chance. Controlling, suspicious and armed with a mother’s instinct that sounds the alarm whenever Emily is near her son, Victoria poses a very real threat to Emily’s ambitions.
5. The Wooden Infinity Box
If you’ve been watching the show then you’ll know that a small rectangular wooden box, carved with a double infinity symbol, is all Emily has left of her innocent father. Each week Emily pulls out a diary, a photograph, a ledger or some other fascinating piece of paraphernalia that links another wrong-doer to this week’s revenge story. My favorite is the group photograph of all the people Emily has on her revenge agenda. (So nice of them all to line up!) I just love the part where she gets to draw a big red X over the face of her most recent victim, kind of like crossing off the days to Christmas on a calendar. The box itself is intriguing. What if the show runs for several seasons? Just how many photos and mementos can that thing hold?
And if our top five hasn’t managed to convince you, here’s a promo for this week’s episode, Betrayal.
Revenge airs on ABC, Wednesdays at 10/9c