Wednesday, September 21, 2011


Like The CW's Ringer (whose second episode this week was a gloriously awful trainwreck of ridiculousness), Revenge is an unabashed soap opera loaded with nasty rich people and crazy plot twists, and it sets up a limited premise that seems unlikely to sustain a long-running series. Also like Ringer, it's frequently totally stupid, but generally in a fun, campy way. Emily VanCamp seems more confident as the lead of a show like this than Sarah Michelle Gellar is on Ringer; maybe it's all that time she spent on Brothers & Sisters falling in love with the dude she once thought was her long-lost brother.

Whatever it is, she successfully pulls off the vengeful woman who infiltrates an ultra-rich Hamptons community to right the wrongs that were done to her late father. She's so devious that she literally uses angry red marker to cross off each of her vanquished enemies in a group photo. That of course speaks to the limitations of the premise, but for now it's a lot of fun watching her pretend to be a naive young socialite while secretly plotting the downfalls of everyone around her. Madeleine Stowe is enjoyably evil as the queen bee of the rich-bitch social circle, and there are enough juicy side plots introduced to keep things going if the central storyline falters. Creator Mike Kelley was behind the enjoyably soapy Swingtown (which very few people watched), and while Revenge lacks that show's stabs at social relevance, it looks like it will contain at least as much bed-hopping and backstabbing.

Premieres tonight at 10 p.m. on ABC.

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