The ABC network is on fire this fall. Last week I revealed that I was a fan of the network’s military/political thriller “Last Resort,” and this week I’ll review its simmering drama “Revenge,” which is in its second season.
For Emily Thorne (Emily VanCamp), revenge is a way of life. As a child, she grew up on the idyllic beaches of the Hamptons and was raised by her single dad. Her fairy tale ended abruptly when her father was wrongfully imprisoned for downing a jetliner through a criminal conspiracy and later died in prison. Emily also was incarcerated in juvenile detention, where she learned to be one tough cookie. On the day of her release, young billionaire Nolan Ross (Gabriel Mann) offers her a wooden box full of her father’s secrets, having promised to set the record straight for her dad.
What our heroine learns is that her father was innocent and suffered at the hands of his wealthy neighbors, the Graysons. His betrayal is particularly nasty because he was having an affair with the Grayson queen bee, Victoria Grayson (Madeline Stowe).
Emily’s real name is Amanda Clarke, but she trades identities with a fellow detention prisoner and infiltrates the Graysons’ cushy lifestyle to exact revenge. She’s so good at what she does that she becomes the fiancé of the Graysons’ oldest heir, Daniel Grayson (Joshua Bowman). Mixing with the Graysons allows Emily into their inner circle, where she is faced with people from her father’s past; merely targets for her revenge.
When you look at some of its plotlines, “Revenge” seems a lot like a soap opera, but I don’t feel that’s necessarily a bad thing. The writers keep mounting the tension, and the actors usually come off well. They aren’t over the top.
My favorite thing about the series is how capable Emily proves herself to be. She has a martial arts background and is smart. Whenever someone seems to get the jump on her, she manages to turn the tables in her favor.
That’s why ... I’m a fan!
“Revenge” airs at 9 p.m. Sundays on ABC. If you need to check out season one first, it’s available on instant viewing via Netflix.
McBrayer’s column appears weekly in the Courier.