US drama Revenge suffers from an absence of likeable characters
- Brian Donaldson
- 22 May 2012
The drama stars Emily VanCamp and Madeleine Stow
Now here’s a new US show that might well have ideas way above its station with an on-screen quote from Confucius hinting at the multiple tragedies which lie ahead. Revenge (E4, Mon 28 May, 9pm) is populated by characters who take boats down to Haiti for the week and give each other Van Goghs for fun, and it would be easy to simply hate it for being another spoilt-millionaires bonanza.
Still, all you need is one person to side with and in Emily Thorne (Emily VanCamp) we have a protagonist whose life was ravaged when her father was imprisoned for siphoning off funds which resulted in a terrorist outrage. There is, of course, no way the story is quite so black and white: after all, daddy loved playing with her on the beach and they had a cute dog and everything. Having finally seen evidence years later that points the finger at him being framed, she arms herself with a new identity and goes after the true perpetrators. Their fates range from a gunshot in the skull to chomping on poisoned bisque.
Over 22 episodes this may well turn out to be a gripping series, but some characters are going to be difficult to stomach. Such as the equally vengeful Victoria Grayson (Madeleine Stowe) – who seems to either be making charity speeches into a microphone or whispering threats into tender ears – and a predictable slew of lobotomised hunks. Can’t help thinking the Danes would have done this better.