In some ways, Revenge is the bizarro version of another TV show I remember watching slack-jawed as a kid: The Millionaire. In that show, an odd-looking man goes around making millionaires of total strangers. Of course, that was in the late ’50s. A lot of things have gone bizarro since then.
Back to Revenge. We’ve gone through the first eight or nine episodes on Hulu Plus. It’s a trashy show, one I’d call a guilty pleasure if I experienced a great deal of guilt or pleasure from it. It is satisfying, I guess, to watch masters of the universe being laid low in the Hamptons. But after a promising start, the writing and plotting have gotten so ham-handed that the satisfaction has become elusive.
For example, the instrument of every billionaire’s undoing is always some surreptitious video. No matter what evil the villains do, somehow the heroine (Emily VanCamp) is always able to obtain remarkably clear footage of them doing it. The plotting depends heavily on the cash reserves and supposedly mad computer skills of our heroine’s billionaire sidekick. The guy is sort of a Lisbeth Salander without the personality or sex appeal. Really, when you’re bringing down billionaires, wouldn’t it be nice if you didn’t need another billionaire to do it?
I’ll also condemn the pretentious voice-overs and the horrendous cliche (already) of a character with amnesia. Aarrgh! Still, we watch because we can. On Hulu Plus, you can gorge on this kind of thing for a mere $8 a month. It may be crap, but the price is right.