Revenge: The Complete First Season DVD Review: Very Little Here You Can’t Find in a Daytime Soap Opera

Since the dawn of television itself, there have been countless attempts to turn popular big screen movies into a long-running weekly programs produced exclusively for small screen viewers. More times than not, these transitions have proved disastrous for producers and performers alike, but that hasn’t prevented them from continuing to try. Lately, however, TV studios have been attempting to turn entire film genres into series. A recent example was the shockingly god-awful unintentional laughfest The River — a show that should serve as living proof that ABC will, in fact, air anything.

The latest instance is another ABC series: the simplistically-titled dramatic thriller, Revenge. Sadly, while this one is far more interesting than The River could ever hope to be, it still doesn’t succeed in doing ultimately more than sucking all-around.

The story here focuses on the plight of TV’s Emily VanCamp, whose onscreen character of Emily Thorne (aka Amanda Clarke), the daughter whose father was betrayed by a nefarious group of folks from The Hamptons — an act of treachery which led to her pappy (whom she was torn away from as a kid one fateful evening, never to see him again) being sent to prison on false charges of terrorism and mass-murder (!) and who would eventually meet an untimely demise whilst incarcerated. This, of course, has not settled with Emily/Amanda — who has grown up into a rather cold and extremely meticulous lass hell-bent on settling the score.

Each week, our heroine seeks out another person to run into the ground — focusing all her attention on ruining that individual. She begins with a number of guest stars, before setting her sights on more prolific cast members such as Madeleine Stowe, who stars as the powerful, Machiavellian, manipulative matriarch of The Hamptons, Victoria Grayson. Unfortunately for Emily/Amanda, she begins to let her emotions interfere with her plans. Meanwhile, Victoria begins to smell a rat, and looks into this newcomer to the community, blah, blah, blah.

Really, there’s very little here that you can’t find in your average daytime soap opera. Except some better acting and production values, of course. Granted, neither of those are much better (especially the acting), so I honestly cannot think of any one reason to recommend this series. ABC and Disney bring us all 22 episodes of this tepid thriller to DVD with several bonus materials accompanying — none of which really add any enjoyment to the overall experience.

In short: Revenge is a dish that is best served cold — and that’s only because it came out of the kitchen that way since its creators didn’t know how to properly prepare it.

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Luigi Bastardo

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