Revenge on ABC opens with mean girl's bitter payback

Anissa Ford's picture

Troy Davis's execution occupied the minds of many people last night. But reality escapists found comfort in network premieres.

ABC's "Revenge" won out in terms of fresh content over NBC's Law and Order SVU.

Law and Order reinvented the Dominque Strauss Kahn rape case. The hotel maid was a Sudanese woman (Anika Noni Rose) with a French accent. Go figure. The accused, an Italian politician with his eyes on the presidency. Predictable. Besides, Stabler was missing.


Opposite Law and Order, ABC's "Revenge" was under way just an hour before the Supreme Court agreed the Troy Davis execution should proceed. A young woman, Emily Thorne, whose father was killed thanks to two selfish people's lies on the Hampton's has returned to her childhood home for none other than "Revenge."

Thorne's revenge isn't simple death by car bomb or murder disguised as suicide. Oh no. This young woman's revenge beguilingly reveals a philandering husband's escapades in front of his wife and mistress; exposes a proud and dishonest woman's shameful financial plight . All of course, fates worst than death in a society marked by pride, dignity, honor and wealth.

What's more, vengeful little Emily Thorne doesn't want any help with her plans. And one half of her target, Victoria Grayson (Madeline Stowe) thinks Thorne is a young girl interested in her son. So Mrs. Grayson's ordered a full background check. Emily Thorne isn't interested in the younger Grayson male heir. She wants revenge. She threw her drink all over his clothes and apologized for being clumsy. And that is the story of a how a man in love met his hopeful first wife.

Banal but hilarious.

A lot happened on last night's episode. And since it's clear Thorne's not into killing people and being done with it, (no, she'll slip you a potion that 'll give you a heart attack) the foreseeable future assumes her revenge plots run into complications along the way. Thorne's identity is a secret to enemy of her enemy, which makes him a possible friend, one who is fully able to expose Thorne should she displease him. Money wouldn't persuade this friend. The guy is a friend of Thorne's father and a very wealthy young man.

Emily Thorne's revenge plots may also run into complications as Victoria Grayson digs into Thorne's past. With a cold and unfeeling name like Victoria Grayson, it's unimaginable that the Grayson's will ever be sitting ducks to the likes of Emily Thorne (as long as they're in their element and not philandering). Besides, at some point, it's believed Victoria was in love with Thorne's father. Even so, Emily Thorne believes Victoria Grayson equally responsible for her father's wrongful imprisonment and death. It may turn out in the end that Mrs. Grayson has a special place in her heart for little Emily Thorne, the daughter of her lover more than a decade ago.

Revenge stories, in the history of film and literature, aren't new. But female characters revenging a parent's death is rrather new. Most female villains are driven by scorn and revenge after a jilted romance.

Although it's not likely the Grayon's will be sitting ducks for Thorne's revenge the entire season and ABC may be silly enough to try it, Emily VanCamp as Thorne alone isn't enough to keep audiences tuned in. Madeline Stowe's star power and super diva on screen presence, however, may win viewers in the end. It was hard not to watch in amazement Madeline Stowe, a wife betrayed by her husband and best friend, sport a nude mini opposite her former best friend's snake skin sun dress. Comparatively, Thornes's light, airy goddess wardrobe casts her as a the fish out of water and tamely unsophisticated juvenile unequal in contrast to the older actresses on the island.

Emily Thorne ( Emily VanCamp) may remind former and older fans of CBS soap opera "The Guiding Light" of Annie Dutton, Reva Lewis's nemesis. Annie was a sweet and gullible looking blonde (played by Cynthia Watros) character with a mean streak that reduced Shakespeare's Iago to child's play or a Disney cartoon.


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