Revenge – Season 1
Amanda Clarke was 9 years old when the FBI raided the house where she lived with her father and took him as a suspect to financing a terrorist organisation. Years later she gets her dads diary in which is described how this could have happened, how he was set up injustly by the Grayson family for who he worked as a succesful hedgefund broker, and who the people were involved in the action that ruined both their lives. On the last page of the diary he writes he’s managed to leave her an a substantial amount of money so she can still have a nice life and that he hopes she’ll be able to forgive those responsible. For Amanda, however, the diary is the perfect screenplay for only one thing: revenge! And with the money she also has the means necessary to get it…
Revenge has a very high level of “The OC meets Desperate Housewives”. All people are beautiful on the outside but ugly on the inside, just about every stereotype you expect in such a show are present (the bitchy mom, the nerd computerwizard, the beautiful outsider, the rich jetset son, … you name it) and each episode we get to see Amanda, as Emily Thorne, newcomer in the Hamptons, gets rid of one of the people who were at the basis of her dads demise. As such nothing wrong with that, but it all goes véry easy and except for Victoria Grayson (an entertaining Madelein Stowe) there seems to be no-one who finds anything suspicious about the fact that all this started to happen from the moment Emily arrived.
What does make Revenge somewhat interesting is the fact that there’s a constant duality in the character of Amanda/Emily. With all the money her father left her she could have lead an easy life but instead she chose to take revenge. We regularly get to see what could have been, and also Emily’s helper Nolan (the rich computer nerd who gets ignored by the rest of the rich & famous) often gets the opportunity to talk into her about what she’s doing. However, time after time it’s the hard edged Amanda who wins the battle, making that we’re not suddenly watching a new version of The OC.
It looks as if there’s been quite some budget cuts when it comes to the image. The overview images of The Hamptons seems like shot with a cheap SD-camera, and plenty of scenes arouond Emily’s house seems to have been copy/pasted or overly digitalised by computer. Absolutely not pretty to see and it gets noticed all the much more as the rest of the show actually looks quite decent. The sound on the other hand is quite alright but as it’s mostly dialogue with a bit of background music our expectations in this department weren’t all too high to begin with.