TV on Disc: 'Revenge' Is a Dish Best Served in Prime Time
The new nighttime soap opera offers beautiful people, the arrogant rich, and bad behavior
"Revenge: The Complete First Season" (ABC), a juicy nighttime soap opera of the rich and beautiful in the Hamptons and a ferocious scheme of righteous vengeance, was one of the success stories of the 2011-2012 TV season, thanks to the gleeful bad behavior and queen bee command of Madeleine Stowe.
"When I was a child, my father was framed for a crime he didn't commit," intones our heroine over the show's credits. "Before he died, he left a road map for revenge that led me to the people who destroyed our lives. Sometimes the innocent get hurt, but one by one the guilty will pay."
That pretty much sums it up. Emily VanCamp is the rich, young, and beautiful Emily Thorne, the new girl amidst the old money, and Madeleine Stowe is the JR of this little Dallas: Victoria Grayson aka Queen Victoria, the social monarch of the Hamptons. She's no slouch herself when in comes to revenge, as the first episode shows, but she's downright petty compared to the righteous vengeance that Emily quietly and cruelly unleashes.
Part of the show's attraction is the contrast of the pretty, seemingly benign society girl who is really a ruthless, focused, brutally committed woman on a mission of revenge. The extent of the betrayal and the conspiracy that drives her unfolds over the course of the season, and by the end the possible reverberations are epic.
There's also the familiar collision of arrogant rich vacation crowd versus the working folk who live in the town year round, with the dockside bar owned by the ruggedly good looking Jack Porter (Nick Wechsler) and his younger, more restless brother (Connor Paolo) is the rustic watering hole for this crowd. And luckily for Emily, one of the youngest tech billionaires in the world (Gabriel Mann) volunteers to play sidekick, because clearly the movers and shakers of the tech world are emotionally needy geeks with nothing but time and money on their hands.
The rest is all about taking down the rich and powerful in a culture where bad behavior is just another part of the social currency. It's not so much that the rich behave any worse than anyone else on these nighttime melodramas, they just do it with a sense of entitlement.
DVD only, with 22 episodes on five discs in a standard case with hinged trays. Creator Mike Kelly and actress Emily VanCamp provide commentary on the pilot, and there is a "Roadmap to Revenge" featurette that takes care of making-of and overview. The other featurettes are on the fashions and the Hamptons mansion, and there's a negligible fake interview, deleted scenes, music videos, and bloopers.