Tuesday, November 29, 2011

A perfect tv show for the 99%

"Look our Paul, money doesn't make you happy!" said my mother, almost every Saturday night in the 1980s, as my whole family (big butch Dad included) settled down to watch Dallas or Dynasty.

In hindsight, I can tell you that she was wrong. Money actually does make you happy, and unlike Blake Carrington off Dynasty, most rich people do not have their wives replaced with a body double, have their whole family gunned down during a wedding in an invented East European nation state, lose their memory and regress back to being in love with their evil first wife, be falsely accused of murder and accidentally kill their son's gay lover. Instead rich people just have a lot of very long nice holidays in expensive hotels, travel business class everywhere, and whenever they have a problem, they close their eyes and throw money towards it, until it goes away. At worst, they may spend too much time commuting or working late, neglecting their children and partners, or they may get a bit tubby, as they eat at restaurants too much. But those things don't make for good soap operas.

So now you know the truth, you may as well just try to become an investment banker.

But if you like watching unhappy rich people, then you will love Revenge, a campy drama set in "the Hamptons", a series of well-heeled villages in Long Island, New York. The series is a very loose reworking of The Count of Monte Cristo, and involves the patient machinations of a mysterious young woman who goes by the name of Emily Thorne. She's out to get revenge on the ENTIRE Hamptons, because many years ago, they were all involved in a plot which caused the death of her father. Every episode she targets a new person and manages to destroy their life in some sort of clever way. For example, in episode 1 it involves soup, while in episode 2 she puts on some white gloves and types a password into someone's computer. After that she puts a big red cross through their face in a handy photograph she has of all the people who have done her wrong. She's saving up her bestest revenge though for the main villains - the Graysons who live in the beach house next door. When I say " beach house" I actually mean Disgustingly Enormous Palace of Decadence.

Oh this little thing?

Mrs Grayson (played chillingly by Madeline Stowe) seems to spend most of her time glaring at Emily from her turret room. The Queen of the Hamptons, Mrs Grayson has an over-botoxed forehead and too much loose neck tissue. She emits a series of wintery smiles and ambiguous platitutes which are actually all threats. To cross her is instant social death.

Emily's scheme for the Graysons involves their hottie son who must be seduced.

Well, no-one said Revenge would be easy.

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