You might or might not have picked up o this, but I’m pretty much into Fantasy. Whether books or movies/shows, Fantasy is the common denominator. Once in a while, though, I do enjoy a little journey out of my fantastic box. I had some non-fantasy series lined up to watch, but I missed the incentive to actually start one. A while ago, I saw this series finale review of Revenge by Husband & Husband and the premise really intrigued me. It also seemed like a perfect series for the summer, and with it being finished, my sister and I had the idea of watching this series together. With us not living under the same roof anymore, it was like watching an episode (or more) and waiting for the other to check them on social media for series and movies (trakt.tv) before spamming with messages about the episode.
While the idea was to watch it over the summer, the last half of August saw me returning to work and thus my frequency slowed down just a little bit. But little over a month ago, I did finish Revenge and I’m glad I watched it.
The premise of the show is as follows:
Emily Thorne (Emily VanCamp) comes to the Hamptons and rents a beach house (previously her childhood home) next door to the mansion of a wealthy family, the Graysons. Emily is actually Amanda Clarke, whose father was framed by the Graysons for treason when she was a little girl. After a lengthy trial, he was imprisoned for life, and was murdered in prison by associates of the people who framed him. Meanwhile, Amanda was separated from him and spent most of her time in a juvenile correctional facility, only to find out her father was killed six weeks before she was released on her 18th birthday. She now returns to the Hamptons as an adult to get revenge on those who wronged her and her father.
This results in the first half of the first season Emily taking out one complicit at a time and this is delicious television. She is a smart and cunning woman and I was rooting for her every time she crossed out another face on the photograph she has of her adversaries. About halfway through the first season, bigger storylines are introduced and what was a fun series, soon becomes compelling. This is greatly helped by the premiere episode teasing a dramatic moment and going back in time to build up to it during half a season.
While I think the first season is by far the strongest, the second and third also bring some compelling stories to the table. Unfortunately, the fourth season is the weakest link. First of all, I think the season three finale with Emily leaving the mental institution was a great way to end things, but second, the big reveal at the end of season three was too farfetched for me and as a result, the beginning of season four was not all that great. In fact, the fourth was so lacklustre that I took a break somewhere and started watching some other shows. What a difference with the first season, where I had to restrain myself after binging two to four episodes a day.. Luckily, the final couple of episodes were back on form and can compete with seaon one’s best, but as a whole, this felt like a strong show that lost track of itself.
It isn’t helped when the somewhat likeable characters are written out of the series whereas the annoying ones become series regulars or new annoying characters are introduced. I mean, did the Grayson siblings really have to go? Sure, Daniel is a prick and Charlotte was too naive to live, but over the course of the seasons, I kind of got attached to them. Margaux, however, never was a strong suit to begin with and to make her the new Top Bitch was a bit pulling it.. Same goes for Louise. A darling with a lovely accent, but in no ways fit to fill the void Aiden left. What were they thinking, writing Aiden out of it? I was really rooting for him and Emily to be endgame. Oh well.. In the end, though, it’s all about Emily, Nolan and Victoria. At first, I even found Nolan annoying, but I soon warmed up to him and I liked how Emily’s little Revenge-squad got a little bit bigger and how Nolan could aid her in her quest with is tech-abilities. Seriously, if I could do what this badass duo is able to pull off… What this show did exceptionally well, though, was making their characters into living, breathing human beings with a past. By the end, you know so much backstory you feel like you’ve been part of their family for such a long time, and this is no easy feat to pull off.
Overall, this show is made to be watched during the Summer, when you can’t be bothered by a lot. This really feels like The Bold & The Beautiful with a mean streak sometimes, with acting and dialogue that is as cringeworthy. I can’t fault the lead actresses, though. Emily VanCamp and Madeleine Stowe really gave it their all and they made it a show worth watching.
So despite its flaws and all, I really had a good time watching Revenge and will remember its glorious first season. It’s not a series I will rewatch, though, but I will be keeping an eye out for Emily VanCamp. If you have not yet seen it and are remotely interested, give it a go next Summer, you won’t regret it!
Curious what my sister thought of this show? Find out here.