Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Revenge: We're worried about Sammy the dog

In some ways, glossy US drama Revenge is like a mix between the undemanding picturesque teen drama of Dawson's Creek and the glamorous big business and politics bitch-offs of an 80s super soap like Dynasty.

Or, at least, it would be if Revenge's main character wasn't basically an enormous sociopath.

However, it would appear there's room for a sociopath in glossy tv drama - particularly when played by a beautiful young woman with a chilling stare and surprising ability for martial arts: Revenge has been a massive hit in the US, while here in the UK it's doing well for E4, the home of all things teen.

It's about Emily Thorne who is intent on avenging her father's death. He was imprisoned after he was framed for a terrorist act he had nothing to do with, which in turn, she believes, ruined her own life too.


And Emily - actually born Amanda Clarke, which is a much plainer name, and sounds more like a shoplifter rather than a life-destroyer - is now hunting down the people responsible for her father's downfall, and as she does so, she scrawls a big red cross on each of their faces on a very handily available group photograph of them all, which was, equally handily, provided by her father, along with all other relevant documentation for the revenge project, and contained in a wooden box which she keeps hidden in her dimly lit beach house along with a magic laptop that plays constant reruns of her father's trials - as if she needs a reminder of her motivation (although as a plot device it, y'know, works).

Madeline Stowe as Victoria Grayson: Inside she's hurting.
And, as well as having help from a nerdy IT whizz called Nolan to help access her enemies' computer systems in order for them to bend to her will, she's also very rich - meaning she can casually buy an apartment block in order to see the building's CCTV to use as incriminating evidence, or purchase a company to help hatch an elaborate plan - and bought the Hamptons-based beach house she once lived in with her father, overlooked by an enormous mansion owned by the Grayson family, who are also very rich.

Queen Grayson - Victoria - organises charity lunches and swans about controlling people, but was secretly in love with Emily's father, except she was forced to testify against him in his trial, as part of her husband's case against him. So inside she's hurting, but on the outside she's a steely mix of polite charm and determined grit, in a posh house. It's also fair to say Victoria's probably a target for Emily, and early indications suggest Emily will punish her through her adored son Daniel, whose presence offers up one or several examples of fairly standard teen drama hunkage for the show.

Daniel (Josh Bowman) - 'teen drama hunkage'

All in, it's kind of complicated, but also very absorbing - and the title of Revenge is very apt.

It's what drives Emily and has consumed and shaped her life, but you wouldn't tell her that because she'd probably kill you, or at least temporarily block your wind pipe until you bent to her will.

And speaking of violence, tv-ooh's current main concern is that Sammy, an enthusiastic Labrador belonging to Emily/Amanda's childhood friend Jack, is going to give the game away.

He's certainly sharper than his owner, as Jack fails to recognise his now grown-up old friend, while Sammy keeps following her around.

But if Emily ends up killing the dog, things might change. She can ruin as many people's lives as she likes, but if she touches the pup... it will all kick off.

Assuming people would find out about it, that is  - so far that seems unlikely given her manipulative charm, and the fact we've got a 22 episode season to get through, as well as a second season on its way.

It looks like we're in for quite a lot of soapy revengin' doesn't it.

We're looking forward to it.


  1. Jonny Houghton13 June 2012 at 09:00

    Well as the series is now on episode 17 here in Australia, you can rest assured Sammy is still alive and well and is still brighter than Jack at recognising her old owner!

  2. That's a relief - we're pleased he makes it to at least episode 17. Sammy is the youngest-looking old dog tv-ooh has ever seen!!