New HQ episode stills from the third episode of ‘Revenge,’ titled ‘Betrayal,’ have been added to the gallery. HQ behind the scenes photos from the episode have been added as well.
Also, more candids of Emily arriving at ‘Good Morning America’ have been added to the gallery, all HQ. The candids added yesterday have also been replaced with HQ versions.
And lastly, The New York Times published a review of ‘Revenge’ today. Check it out.
Bad Behavior, Past and Present, in the Hamptons
By: Alessandra Stanley
The president hasn’t punished the rich, and neither has Congress. There is plenty of resentment for the wealthiest Americans, who have coasted through the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression without a tax increase or a dip in lifestyle.
And, fittingly enough, “Revenge,” an ABC series starting on Wednesday, is set in the Hamptons. Emily VanCamp plays Emily Thorne, a young woman bent on getting even with the rich family that ruined her father. It’s “Gossip Girl” tailored to this economy, with just enough campy suspense to be enjoyable.
“Revenge” is loosely based on “The Count of Monte Cristo,” and it’s not the only new series that borrows from Alexandre Dumas to skewer the rich. On “Ringer,” a CW show that began this month, Sarah Michelle Gellar plays identical twins, one of whom assumes the identity of the other, like those in “The Man in the Iron Mask.” “Ringer” is even less subtle than “Revenge” in its depiction of the happy few; one early sign that the rich twin, a socialite with a house in the Hamptons, is the evil one is a scene with her in a chignon and an Hermès scarf, willfully steering a speedboat.
Not all of the new fall shows focus as intently on class warfare, but a significant number find ways to work in a kick at Wall Street greed and Bernard L. Madoff. One of the heroines of the CBS sitcom “2 Broke Girls” is a Paris Hilton-like heiress who is forced to work as a waitress in Brooklyn when her father’s financial fraud implodes, and her trust fund is frozen, along with the family assets. ABC’s remake of “Charlie’s Angels” is a shameless homage to ’70s Aaron Spelling schlock, yet it too takes a shot at present-day Wall Street. The Farrah-esque angel named Abby (Rachael Taylor) is the estranged daughter of a Wall Street legend who turns out to have been a crook.
While undercover as a server at a Miami party, Abby runs into two former Dalton classmates who smirk at her lowly job. “Considering what your father did, I’d call it payback,” one says with a Park Avenue glare.
On “Revenge,” payback is what draws Emily back to the beach house where she spent summers with her doting father. It is next door to the estate of Victoria Grayson, an icily seductive society matron (Madeleine Stowe). Victoria, who even in Hervé Léger bandage dresses looks like the evil queen in “Snow White,” reigns over the Hamptons beau monde with the same silky hauteur that keeps her husband, Conrad (Henry Czerny), in line.
And her children. When Victoria’s teenage daughter, Charlotte (Christa Allen), shows off a new bikini, Victoria orders her to change. “It’s important to me that you don’t end up on Page 6 at one of Diddy’s hot tub parties,” she says dryly.
There must be a Diddy drinking game going on behind network doors because Sean Combs’s stage name keeps being dropped on all kinds of shows. Either that, or writers worry that most viewers don’t know the ways of the rich and less famous and use Mr. Combs’s once legendary summer white parties in the Hamptons as code for excess and privilege. The characters on “Gossip Girl” attended a white party. On “Charlie’s Angels” Abby is reluctant to believe that a well-known businessman is part of a human smuggling ring.
“Time out: Rodrigo is a multimillionaire,” she exclaims. “He throws more white parties than Diddy!”
Emily on “Revenge” has to get herself into those kinds of parties to settle scores with the many people she is determined to hurt and humiliate. They of course don’t have any idea who she really is, but are instead drawn to her enigmatic charm and air of effortless wealth. Ms. VanCamp, a svelte beauty with a withholding smile, is well cast; so is Gabriel Mann, who plays Nolan, an upper-class twit in seersucker and yachting cap who actually made his own fortune the new-fashioned way, via the Internet.
Flashbacks quickly reveal that the Graysons next door framed Emily’s father so he’d take the fall for a crooked business deal. Emily became a juvenile delinquent and never knew her father was innocent. By the time she finds out, it is too late for anything except to punish those responsible. Or, as she puts it in a prologue, “This is not a story about forgiveness.”
Mostly, “Revenge” is a corrective to past nighttime soap operas about the filthy rich that didn’t punish them enough, from “Dallas” and “Dynasty” to more recent iterations, like “The OC” and “Gossip Girl.” Those series had token have-nots among the characters, but their grievances were easily eclipsed by the panache and over-the-top fashion choices of the haves-and-want-mores.
“Revenge” isn’t a breakthrough, by any means, but it does offer a different take on female rivalry, an evolution that is in tune with bad times but that, symbolically at least, also reflects women’s greater responsibility for the economy. Catfights on “Dallas” and Dynasty” were over a man and packaged as farce: hair-pulling, dress-ripping brawls between Linda Evans and Joan Collins. “Gossip Girl” focuses on mean-girl power struggles, with malice as the weapon of choice.
This series pits a younger woman against the older one who stole her fortune. More than sex, love or friendship, money is the currency of power, and women are those pursuing it.
The rich get richer on “Revenge,” and the poor get even.
ABC, Wednesdays at 10, Eastern and Pacific times; 9, Central time.
Source: The New York Times