Revenge: Is the New ABC Show Worth Watching?

Revenge TV seriesABC is the last of the major networks to unveil a new TV series this season. While the network still has several successful shows on the air, the execs are very aware that they need to find some new hits. Time will tell if Revenge will help fill that need.

Revenge follows the story of Emily Thorne (Emily VanCamp), a mysterious young woman who arrives in the Hamptons. She’s actually lived there before, as a child, and returns incognito to seek revenge on the people who killed her father and destroyed her family. Others in the cast include Madeleine Stowe, Gabriel Mann, Henry Czerny, Ashley Madekwe, Nick Wechsler, Josh Bowman, Christa B. Allen, and Connor Paolo.

Here’s what the critics think of Revenge:

Chicago Tribune: “Emily and [Stowe’s] Victoria may be the most conniving characters in this fall’s crop of new TV shows, and you really don’t want to miss their scrumptious scheming. VanCamp gives Emily equal amounts of cold resolve, guilt and vengeful glee as she plots her vengeance. Stowe’s Victoria embodies all those qualities, plus an imposing nature that would have the Real Housewives of anywhere shaking in their Louboutins.”

“I don’t want to give too much away, but when Emily and Victoria take aim at the same target in the premiere — well, I squealed just a little bit. They say Revenge is a dish best served cold, and here it’s downright delicious.”

NY Daily News: “The bigger challenge for the show, of course, is to make us understand the things Emily now does. The most famous male vengeance seekers over the years have often followed an unspoken code that says you’re not only allowed to seek revenge, you’re almost obligated.”

“That cuts them a lot of slack in the behavior and morality departments, and it will be interesting to see if Emily seems to be accorded similar leniency. Whether she is or not, she quickly moves beyond the point where she is purely a sympathetic victim.”

“That means Revenge will bank more on creating a compelling and complex psychological and investigative drama than on simply setting up good guys and bad guys and counting on the viewer to root for the good guys to win. The show is asking viewers, then, to invest some time and not expect a clean resolution of some black-and-white drama each week. That’s a gamble and a risk. Revenge seems confident it can be taken and won.”

USA Today: “And they’ve also twisted the story a bit so it can fit the confines of a weekly Leverage-type con. Each week, while she’s working her way toward the Graysons, Emily destroys one of their accomplices. Surely you can see the rub. How many accomplices can there be, and how many can Emily destroy before someone starts to catch on — or before viewers start to notice that innocent people are inevitably being hurt?”

“Yet for fans of soaps, there is reason for hope. The show looks great, and it often sounds good, particularly when Emily is delivering a line we know is nasty but her victim doesn’t. It also boasts a decent cast, with Stowe making a particularly formidable foe. And she’ll have to be if she’s going to survive Emily — not to mention CSI and Law & Order: SVU. With competition like that, Revenge may end up going cold faster than ABC would like.”

LA Times: “As is often the case with melodrama, I find Revenge essentially unconvincing and also quite likable. At times, it has something of the sound and silliness of kids playing at being sophisticated adults.” …

“That the atmosphere of let’s-pretend never quite dissipates is not really a hindrance; the show seems happy to breathe in that air. The Phillip Noyce-directed pilot is quite handsome — Chris Manley, from Mad Men, photographed it — with a chilly-looking North Carolina standing in for the Hamptons. The production has since moved to Southern California, and we’ll see how that impersonation works out.”

Boston Herald: “In perhaps its biggest misfire, the show opens a few months in the future, showing what seems to be the culmination of Emily’s work, delivering the kind of blow from which her nemesis will never recover. Or have events just spiraled out of her control?”

“There are guilty pleasures and then there are ones for which you just feel guilty about sacrificing your valuable time. Revenge is the latter.”

What do you think? Will you give Revenge a chance? If you’ve seen it, is it worth watching again or should it be quickly cancelled?

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93 Comments · Read them below or add one

  1. Anonymous says

    Great show! The new Dallas, Dynasty, hope it airs as long as they did.
    Emily/Amanda, Victoria are excellent actresses.
    Keep up the good work.

  2. Ellen says

    Do love this show but have to agree with comments above re: loud background music. I hope as the series continues this flaw is corrected.

  3. J.Carlisle says

    Revenge is my favorite Show! I have grown tired of all the Forensic and crime shows, they are the same format season after season.

    Revenge offers up rich, beautiful, deviously scheming people with very twisted lives that become more complex week by week. Love it!

  4. Pat says

    I’ve tried watching a couple episodes but can’t be bothered straining to hear the dialogue over the crazy loud background music. What a shame! I think that the series may have had potential. I’ve just deleted it from my record list.

  5. Denise says

    Best New Drama Series this year! I can’t stand all the Reality shows, I understand why they are there, (CHEAP TO MAKE), that is why I am really glad to see a new drama that is worth watching. because there won’t be many of them (too expensive for the networks) but some of us like to watch something other than reality tv, it seems to be taking over.

  6. freddi Simmons says

    I absolutely love this show!!!! The story line is great. I just hope they dont make emily get the bad end of the deal!!! She’s smart and on top of her game. Its a great show. Hope the story line doesnt become outragious making her look like the bad guy. or having her pay for something she doesnt deserve, although revenge is in gods hands but this is tv. keep up the good work.

  7. Gemm says

    I love this show!! I don’t think that it is shown enough, there are no commercials introducing the next episode.. which is a downer. I look forward to this show every week!! There is far too much Reality, Game and Crime shows and not enough night time Drama Series!!
    I truly hope they do not cancel this show.

  8. Pam says

    I agree with both people above. Great show, just hooks you and reels you in. I worry about wether or not they can keep the concept going for more than 1 season. And thank you about the music! I thought it was me. Seems that way on a lot of shows. They’re drowning out the dialog with what should be in the background. Stop it!

    • Anonymous says

      I absolutely agree with Bev on the LOUD background music! Why did they make it that way?!?!?! It is totally annoying to try and hear the very important details of the dialog going on…. thank goodness I can DVR it and replay and replay and replay certain parts, and sometimes I still can’t get it. In my opinion, the audio team goofed on this one, but why wasn’t it caught before they finalized the episodes?!? Other than that, I really really like this new series.

  9. sofia says

    OMG I LOVEEEEEEE THIS SHOW!!! i’m already addicted! i just watched every single episode and i’m HOOKED i’m drooling to see the rest! I wish I could have the whole season on DVD right now!!! PLEASE keep on the air and i hope there are many more seasons to come!!! it’s not only about taking down the bad guys 1 by 1 …there’s psychological twists and turns and many secrets to unlock and so many love stories to unfold…. can’t wait!! :)

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