E: Since our first review was so glowing, I think I’m going to get into a few things I don’t flat out love about the show, in addition to the details that I did love.
M: Admittedly, we didn’t go into huge depth with that one, it was more of an initial impression than a review I’d say. There are some things I have reservations about, too. So hit it up, sis, what didn’t you love?
E: Emily VanCamp doesn’t quite grab you the way, say, Kristen Bell does as Veronica Mars, or Claire Danes as Angela Chase in My So Called Life. She’s so pleasant and pretty, but you don’t get a tremendous feeling of depth underneath. Now, as a sort of undercover agent, this might work to her advantage, which is why I didn’t harp on it last time. But it does bother me. She’s a little more blank, and a little less charming, that I’d prefer her to be.
M: I agree, but I’m not sure if that’s as much the script as it is her.
E: Gosh, M, it’d be better if it were the script! At least they can fix the script, whereas they really can’t change the actress!
M: I never watched Brothers and Sisters, but she was good in Everwood, and had a charm to her in that. So, I’d like to see the show loosen the reigns on her, whether it’s to make her more devious in her scheming, or more charming in her seduction of Danny, or preferably both.
E: Matthew Glave (Glenn Gulia in The Wedding Singer) was perfectly if predictably cast as a crooked broker, and it was nice to see him get his comeuppance.
M: I have to say, I was surprised at first when Emily/Amanda flashed back and to 9 year old her greeting him warmly as “Uncle Bill,” thinking that they might actually make him a good guy. Glave can never be a good guy, he’s way to type cast and way too slimy looking and acting.
E: No, you’re right, he never can. Evil for life!
M: As an aside, we need a proper name mix for Emily/Amanda, that’s too much to say or type all the time. Emilanda? Amandily? Amily? What do you think?
M: Cool, let’s go with that. Readers, if you have a preference or something better let us know!
E: I will say, however, her scene with Nick Weschler’s Jack Porter did bring some of the emotion I was hoping for. Wordless emotion, but I did really buy their connection.
M: Agreed. The dog (which would be, what, about 18 at this point?) was an excellent catalyst, and her repeatedly speechless reaction to Jack definitely hit the right chord.
E: 17, according to the Imdb, which would make him extremely fit and lively for a really really old Lab. And I will say, even though it’s a tactic and not a romance, I enjoyed Emily’s date and especially the kiss with Danny Grayson. I loved her tiny little swallow before he moved in, steeling herself for it, and I loved his hand held up, reaching for her face but not touching – like he was too much of a gentleman to kiss her with the intensity he wanted to. That was surprisingly cool.
M: That relationship is very intriguing, and I think will be the real centerpiece of this season. The question for me right now is if she will really fall for him, making Jack’s killing of him [E: quit saying that!] at the Labor Day bash a shock to even her, or if she is really going to be a cold-blooded killer (or at least conspirator). The relationship, like Danny’s character, looks to be excellently complex, and surprisingly deep.
E: Danny intrigues me – he’s courtly, he’s unfailingly gracious and polite, and he quotes Oliver Wendell Holmes. I like that in a guy! As C has said, there are ugly moments in his past, and he seems to have motivational issues, but the surface we see sure beats that of the other rich guys on the show.
M: Admittedly, that’s not hard. The other rich guys are caricatures from every “rich people are sucky jerks” movies from the 80’s on. They could easily have taken all their dialog and direction directly from Pretty in Pink or Some Kind of Wonderful or Better Off Dead. The puddle of standing rain water in the middle of my neighborhood has more depth than they do.
E: Nice, bro! They’re puddles to me from now on. You have to include Nolan in that grouping, however, and he’s hardly a puddle.
M: I don’t include Nolan in it, actually. He’s like Kathy Bates in Titanic, nouveau riche, the only rich people we’re allowed to like in stories like this. He’s still a total caricature, but at least it’s one that’s more enjoyable to watch, and has the potential to adapt into a real character. The whole plotline with Declan, Charlotte and the Puddles, however, is thus far my least favorite part of the show.
E: Agreed. Even Declan’s hair bothers me. Granted that he and Charlotte are whiny and shallow enough to deserve each other – but still.
M: Danny, on the other hand, is clearly more of a true character.
E: His family seems to genuinely love him; that seems to be almost their only uniting feature. But we know he dies. When it happens, will it feel like a tragedy? Will we tear ourselves up when it happens because we still like him?
M: That’s definitely one of the huge things they have going for them on the show. At this point I think we might, but the impression that we (through Emily) are getting of Danny is kind of like the pilot/job interview analogy I made last time. He’s on his best behavior because he likes and is trying to impress her. What happens after the first few dates? Will we like him then?
E: Just so. No one can be that polite all the time. Right now, he’s just a boy who likes a pretty girl and knows how to approach her.
M: Oh, and it’s not just with Danny I’m asking this about. Will we actually like Emanda? What about Nolan or some of the other characters? Will we ever have sympathy for Queen Victoria? All good questions at this point.
E: Well, C and I already have a level of sympathy for Queen Victoria, in so far as the cheating is concerned.
M: Wait, which cheating? Her cheating on her husband in the flashbacks, or her husband on her in the present?
E: Bahhh, you know which I meant. Anyway, I’m not totally sold on Emanda; I think part of the issue, really, will be seeing how much of Amanda can bleed through Emily’s plastic facade.
M: That really is the key for her.
E: And I’m definitely not sold on Nolan. Dude is a bit unsettling.
M: I’m pretty sure he’s supposed to be unsettling. I like it, and him, so far at least.
E: By the way, I refuse to believe that just because Jack was standing over Danny’s body with the gun, he’s automatically the killer.
M: I suppose that you have a point, we didn’t see who pulled the trigger, and only saw Jack moving the body. I’m actually wondering a bit if Danny’s murder is not of Emanda’s design because of that, and because she was calling his phone when he was dead. Perhaps she was checking to see if it was done, not knowing Declan and Charlie were on the beach, but perhaps she didn’t know he was being off’d.
E: Yeah, that’s definitely going to keep me thinking! It may be a one season wonder for that very reason, but I think it’s going to keep me pretty engaged for this season. And honestly, I’d rather have a show last for one season and end perfectly than drag on forever, wouldn’t you? Although Victoria and her henchman have ferreted out so many inconsistencies in Emily Thorne’s background that I wonder how she’s going to even last the summer! I’m intrigued to see where that goes, too, and how nimble Emily can be on her feet.
M: Agreed, and as Mrs M said to me, sometimes shows really should only be one season. It’s better to tell the story then get out. It doesn’t need to go on forever just because it does well. I’m on board with it if Revenge is that kind of show.