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I was looking online for a new tv series to start after all my current ones have stopped until October, I came across revenge and thought I'd give it ago. I always start a series with 'if I don't like it after 3 episodes I'll stop' with that in mind I started revenge and well this is my review on the completed series. It didn't take me very long to watch it at all.
Revenge is an American TV drama first released in 2011 on ABC.
Revenge stars with Emily Thorne moving to Hamptons and rents a cute little house on the beach right next to the Graysons manor. Emily has lived there before as a little girl and is not who she appears to be with a new identity she's there to clear her fathers name and get revenge.
Emily's real name is Amanda Clarke, her father was sent to jail for a crime he did not commit. Amanda was left an orphan. On her return Emily/Amanda has a revenge list and at the top of that list is Mrs Victoria Grayson a woman who was supposedly in love with Emily/Amanda's father but betrayed him. With a well thought out plan in hand you would think Emily's revenge would be simple but no her emotions get the better of her in some situations when she ends up engaged to Victoria Graysons son Daniel. Alongside that she has to battle with the emotions of her childhood sweetheart Jack Porter who now owns the bar in town. One advantage Emily has is that no one recognises her from her past due to her leaving at such a young age. Emily is not alone making and fulfilling her plans she has Nolan who knows exactly who she is, Nolan was a loyal friend to Emily's Father, he is rich and incredibly smart but does lack some social skills and comes across as a little creepy some/most of the time. Emily's friend Ashley is Victoria Graysons PA and introduces Emily to the Graysons. It's not long before Emily is getting invited to all the social events.
Emily VanCamp as Emily Thorne/ Amanda Clarke
Main character who the audience follow on the journey of revenge.
Madeleine Stowe as Victoria Grayson
Mrs Grayson, the reason that Emily's father David Clarke was sent to prison, she supposedly loved him and was having an affair.
Gabriel Mann as Nolan Ross
Slightly creepy in the way he talks to woman, but I do feel sorry for Nolan he doesn't have any friends and tries to buy friendship. Lonely because of this bizarre personality.
Ashley Madekwe as Ashley Davenport
Emily's friend and PA to Mrs Grayson.
Nick Wechsler as Jack Porter
Owns the bar and was given Amanda's dog when she left. Childhood sweethearts.
Josh Bowman as Daniel Grayson
Victoria Graysons golden child, in her eyes he can do no wrong. He gets involved with Emily falls in love and becomes a completely different man around her.
Connor Paolo as Declan Porter
Jack porters younger brother is dating Charlotte Grayson, which her parents do not approve of as they are from a different social class.
Christa B Allen as Charlotte Grayson
Victoria Graysons daughter, forever doing wrong no matter what she does she never seems to get her mothers approval.
Revenge has 22 episodes which are roughly 45 minutes long. I really enjoyed this show I was slightly skeptical about watching it, I wasn't sure if I was going to enjoy. I love it. It's a brilliant well thought out show and the plot and subplots are incredible I also like how throughout the series you have flashbacks of Amanda's/Emily's life. It really puts you in the picture of what she has gone through and why she is seeking revenge. I didn't know a show about revenge could be so thrilling and enjoyable. The price is good for a whole 22 episodes of tense plot building. At the end of each episode there is such tension built up that it's hard to resist watching another episode. I can assure you, sleep won't be on the cards when you start this series so I advise you to do it when you have some time off work. I can't wait to sink my teeth into season 2.
I thought I would give this DVD box set a go after Amazon recommended it several times following my purchase history of far fetched American drama series. Within a couple of episodes I was suitably hooked finishing off the series within a few weeks and looking around for series 2.
Overview- the main character Emily Thorne arrives in the Hamptons poised and prepared to exact revenge on a collection of people responsible for framing and murdering her father. Emily has switched identities hiding the fact that she is in fact Amanda Clarke. Throughout the series we see snippets of the original plot as Emily reads journals from her father and goes over evidence left before his death. Minor characters suffer revenge quite easily throughout each episode but the under lying plot builds towards revenge on a much larger scale targeting the powerful Grayson family. The Grayson family provide us with much drama in their own right and as a viewer I began a love/hate relationship with each of the characters within this family. There is a very clear power struggle that ensues between Victoria Grayson and Emily Thorne which makes for dramatic viewing. Viewers also get a fair amount of romantic drama with various relationships playing out through the series including the love triangle between Emily, Jack and Daniel Grayson.
Positives-overall the series has a good level of all of the characteristics that make good viewing. Strong characters, lots of drama, multi-faceted plot line, bit of romance and a touch of light hearted comedy with the character Nolan Ross.
Negatives-it's hard to really understand how far the directors can take the Revenge concept which is essentially the whole point of the show. Leaves you thinking that there can't be many seasons in this. At times it is frustrating how far fetched some of the story lines become and how exactly Emily manages to elude being discovered. At times some of the acting is painfully weak predominantly with more minor characters such as Daniel and the Grayson's PA Ashley.
Conclusion-I will continue to watch future series and part way through Season 2 the drama is still going strong. I have found the box sets to be reasonably cheap to pick up on Amazon and eBay which is another reason to pick this up for easy viewing. I'm sure the purpose of any good TV series is to leave you wanting the next episode and this show always manages that with a far flung cliff hanger.
*DVD extras not reviewed - film only review*
Amanda Clarke (Emily VanCamp) returns to the Hamptons posing as a socialite, Emily Thorne, in order to exact revenge on the Grayson's, who were responsible for her father's imprisonment.
Created by Mike Kelley
The first season of Revenge had mostly standalone episodes, called 'takedown' episodes, making it easy to watch without having to think too hard. In most episodes, Emily takes down someone who played a part in her father being framed as a terrorist. Her plans for the Grayson's are more long term but there are plenty of people to exact revenge on in the meantime. Whilst I did enjoy the episodes, it became a little silly when new characters were introduced just to be taken within the hour, every single week. This is something the writers have rectified in future seasons but it was quite a good way to start the show, making it accessible to new viewers.
Emily VanCamp (Brothers & Sisters) is a strong lead as the revenge seeking Amanda Clarke/Emily Thorne. She essentially plays two different characters, flipping between the scheming revenge seeker and the sweet rich girl at will. Although there is a lot of scene time for the rest of the ensemble, the success of Revenge hinges on VanCamp's performance. Without a decent Emily the show wouldn't work, luckily she is good.
Madeleine Stowe (We Were Soldiers) steals many a scene as the matriarch of the Grayson family, Victoria. You shouldn't really root for Victoria, yet Stowe is so good in the part that you just can't help it. Victoria is suspicious of Emily from the beginning, giving the show some much needed bitchiness. Most of the best scenes in the show are between the two, they play off each other extremely well.
Emily Thorne gets help in exacting revenge from Nolan Ross, portrayed by Gabriel Mann (The Bourne Identity). Nolan is responsible for most of the witty lines, stopping the show descending into too much melodrama (sort of). Mann's delivery is spot on, the character could become a bit of a joke but he knows when to rein it in.
The majority of the rest of the cast is strong; Henry Czerny (Mission Impossible) is brilliant as Victoria's husband Conrad Grayson. It is a bit of a twisted marriage, giving the show lots of tense scenes and as well as banter. Nick Wechsler (Roswell) plays Amanda Clarke's childhood friend Jack Porter, he gives the show some heart and honesty amongst all the lies. I do find it a bit weird that the narrative is supposed to be that Jack and Amanda were pretty much childhood sweethearts yet they were very very young when they knew each other. Freaks me out a bit.
The poorest member of the cast is Josh Bowman (So Undercover) who plays one of the main characters, Daniel Grayson; he acts as Emily's way into the Grayson family. He's English so I kind of feel like I should defend him but he's pretty bad. I'm guessing Bowman was hired for his looks rather than his talents. Even in a show as over the top as Revenge, there is a line that crosses into full on soap opera and Bowman goes over that line too much.
Revenge is a soapy drama but it is addictive, if you buy this DVD you will run through it in no time. As first season's go, this is a very good one. Yes it stalls in the middle section a bit with too many takedowns in a row but the writers rectify it before it becomes stale. It would be easy to dismiss Revenge as just another show with an attractive cast but it is surprisingly good. Give it a try, Revenge is fun.
Madeleine Stowe - Victoria Grayson
Emily VanCamp - Emily Thorne / Amanda Clarke
Gabriel Mann - Nolan Ross
Henry Czerny - Conrad Grayson
Nick Wechsler - Jack Porter
Joshua Bowman - Daniel Grayson
Christa B. Allen - Charlotte Grayson
Ashley Madekwe - Ashley Davenport
Connor Paolo - Declan Porter