New! My Review of Revenge UK Channel E4 on Mondays @9pm posted 14th August 2012

Revenge is great fun. it took a while to get into it since at first it seemed that it was so bad it was bad.  rather than so bad it was good. Yes, dear readers, i like so bad it is good things.  However there is an alternate category on consideration:the so bad it’s bad but it’s bad.  This means you could be watching it as a revenge on good experiment.

Like a trip to the darkside of Television for a while. Ok not dark as in full on horror dark as in icky, boring and dull.

Into this category of so bad it’s bad but it’s bad: i might put oh, Cop reality documentaries but not some vice squad ones.  Since, although as they know perfectly well you never see anything much, you do get to see some bad men put away.

However not prison documentaries since they can be fascinating.  Although i’m kind of over my prison period now. My favourite being the series on women prison officers.  They were some tough gals.  Kind and still mostly smiling, but tough.

Revenge is very Dynasty and Dallas like.  Once you realise that it clicks.  Cue the slightly booming melodramatic music.  The moody stares from characters to each other in silence.  Then a scene cut.

Dire and dreadful dark plots abound.  Some are ludicrous even by Dallas and Dynasty standards.  Madeline Stowe mostly carries the show.  All on her stubborn shoulders.  Her smouldering eyes flash with flinty anger and burst into painful tears.  She is a woman distressed a woman possessed of the urge to protect her family at all costs.  Her beloved son, Daniel.  He is a large lumpen hunk with a shock of dark hair just as Madeline has tumbling down her shoulders.  Daniel is a decent guy, good and kind.

Then there is Madeline’s daughter, the willful Charlotte, sulky and bored of course.  Who falls in love with the cheeky younger brother of the supremely dishy bar owner Jack.  Following me so far?
Jack, of course, owning a cool bar by the sea or river, not exactly sure, is laid back and gentle and naturally owns a loveable Labrador.  Jack also has and sails a sailboat.
n.b (as is the way in such things, the bar is all wood as is the sailboat).

Now Jack is the childhood friend of our heroine Emily Thorne.  Who gave this dog to him when she had to leave her rich lifestyle behind when young.    Emily’s Dad, you see her beloved Dad, not sure what happened to Mum, was framed for a crime he didn’t commit. How very (the series ) Fugitive.
Yes, the dastardly Madeline Stowe and her handsome square jawed Blake Carrington look alike husband were behind it.

It’s all very tragic.  Madeline, we learn who is called Victoria in the show, through flashbacks in black and white, how very arty, was in love with Emily’s Dad.  But still betrayed him.  Du na du na..
(that’s the melodramatic music)

All very Dallas and Dynasty you will agree.  Poor Victoria was being blackmailed at the time, the details evade me.  Blake Carrington look alike and Victoria are even implicated in money laundering for some baddies who blew up a plane. Oops.
So Victoria but not Blakey-boy is racked with guilt over this.

Meanwhile Emily our fair heroine is plotting all of their downfalls for her revenge…

Emily appears to be about 7 or 8 foot tall and is very beautiful. She wears fabulous seemingly plain dresses that look like Grace Kelly going out for an evening in Monaco.  Her waist appears to be tiny compared to her overall height.  She is truly an Olympian.  She mostly smiles to herself a lot.  Simpering slightly whilst conversing with the enemy.

However we, as the audience and the companion to her plans, know that this is not a simper really at all.  It is an evil grin.  Emily is not out and out evil.  well maybe just a little.

She is out for revenge for her poor Papa, who was murdered in jail.  From the flashbacks he looks fairly young.  But black and white flashbacks are denoting way past i feel.

Emily could be quite boring to watch since she is almost too plastically perfect.  She appears to float about from place to place.  feet barely touching the ground.  She never smokes, she never drinks beyond sips of champagne at parties and she never really stresses out.

Emily never unbends from her ramrod straight back.  She plots and plans and repeatedly gets out her old wooden box with her old photos of her and her Dad and her paper work for her schemes of revenge.
One by one she is bringing down everyone involved in the case that framed her father.

Emily enlists the help of her friend tall and lanky with blond floppy hair and an impeccable couture consisting of skinny jeans, preppy jackets and the occasional polo-neck jumper.  He is a billionaire and lives in a fabulous pad.  He doesn’t seem to have much to do and having promised Emily’s father he would look out for her, is Emily’s only trusted friend and accomplice.

Emily’s friend is an expert computer hacker and surveillance man extraordinaire.  He puts little fish ornaments in houses and watches the action on the web cam.

This is how he films evil security man for Victoria and her husband throwing hubby’s Mistress to fall five floors off a balcony and survive.  For a while Victoria ensconces poor recovering Mistress in a bedroom at home and starts feeding her sleeping pills.  Uh oh!
Did i say it was like Dallas and Dynasty?

Yes, but without the clothes, sadly.  No gargantuan glamour and bling for Revenge.  No giant shoulder pads. Not really the towering titans of the women characters like Joan Collins and Linda Grey were.  Still.  Madeline Stowe as Victoria is incandescent in the part.  Emily Thorne is a worthy villain or villainess.  A kind of smiling more dressed up Nikita and that can’t be bad.

Plus Emily has a beach house by the sea.  With balconies at least half way around.  What’s not to like?
Did i mention that Emily has swapped names and identities with her ex-juvenile prison mate so as for anonymity?
(Emily was sent as a child to some sort of unit by an evil psychiatrist who was blackmailed by Victoria)

Jack does not know that Emily is his old childhood friend since it is so long ago and now she has a new name.  But his dog, of course, or rather her old dog goes to Emily. Ah.  Either way, that is a rule in romantic films that the owner of the dog who goes to the girl will fall in love with her.  Since she is the one. Just as he is the one for her. Ah.

Ah yes, and we find out why Emily is so ramrod straight and seems to glide everywhere and hardly smiles: she has been trained by a Japanese master!  No, really. Her master appears and poses as a Japanese businessman as part of one of Emily’s plots.  Of course Emily speaks fluent Japanese and in their private moments her old master hisses at her that:
You have let emotions ruin you! i cannot help you any more, you are on your own”!

I read that the writer of Revenge deliberately set out to recreate a Dynasty Dallas type series. Something fun and tongue in cheek since she was tired of murder plots. Emily’s master may well be a knowing nod to David Carradine and his master in the old Kung Fu series of that time.  David’s master called him the “Grasshopper”.

I am really enjoying Revenge.  Looking forward to the no doubt hugely melodramatic and wild denouement….

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