Last night I finished watching the first 10 episodes of Revenge. I started watching because I’ve been reading some pretty good reviews from people whose opinion I generally value in high regard (in other words, cool people on the internets).
Well, all I can say is, if you enjoy Latin telenovelas, daytime soaps and The West Wing, you sure will find this one hard to resist.
The story is about a beautiful girl in her late twenties, I presume, who has altered her past identity into a completely new person, Emily. Emily is fit and perfectly trained, cold hearted and focused on her goals. What she wants, she gets. Emily’s past is ridden with tragedy, her father framed for a crime he didn’t commit, therefore sentencing both of them into life in living hell. Him in prison, later on we’d find that he passed away serving his time. And her under the undesirable care of Social Services. Later on we’d find that she landed a gig serving in juvie, essentially a prison for troubled youth who committed unlawful acts, where she met another young woman with whom she stroke a deal – this woman would take on her past identity, and she would take this woman’s identity : Emily.
Emily’s father left her with a hefty sum of inheritance, enabling her to live a life where nothing is ever too much a concern. Except everything is always a concern when you have so much grudge and hatred. The moment she found out that her father wasn’t guilty (simultaneously also the moment she found out she is a young billionaire) was the moment she decided to plot her revenge.
We are taken to summer 2011, in the Southamptons, where the rich mingle about with each other and where Emily got herself a beach house located strategically right next to the mansion of the Graysons, the people responsible for her father’s tragic fate. The rest is well, I don’t want to go too much into it. Episodes after episodes we are shown the people Emily took down (and of course, how she took them down), one by one.
Does the storyline sound awfully repeated and familiar? Why, of course it is. It’s a recipe that’s been proven again and again to work in television. And who am I to resist? Although every ending can be easily predicted, I still find myself pining for the next scene, pining for the next episode, curious, wanting for more.
And another thought about the development of Emily’s character : in all honesty I feel that this Hollywood trend of “strong cold hearted female heroine falling in love with a nice guy that would later makes her mission even more difficult or even turn her into forgiveness” thing to be an old, tired theme.
Because women are unable to remain on focus once a man is in the picture? Because somehow still, after all these time, women’s validation still depend heavily on.. yet again, men? Men’s opinion, men’s approval. I tire of it. So over that.
I would like Revenge to prove to me this is wrong. I am rooting for Emily, hoping that everything she wishes to accomplish will end up being executed well. I would like Revenge to prove to me that we can, and we will, as women, survive on our own. If Emily would like to turn around and go back to the path of forgiveness, a man shouldn’t be her reason. Because, how tragic. How sad and ironic. She, a strong woman who’s been training , preparing, and focusing for years. I’d like to think she has much much more self discipline in her.
Will she forgive? Or will she continue to be unstoppable with her revenge no matter the cost? And moreover, what would be constituted as a happy ending here?
You see, happy endings are overrated to me. It is nice, but it’s not a prerequisite for me to classify something as being “good”. Good entertainment doesn’t always guarantee you happy ending. Good entertainment guarantees you that longing for more, that rooting for your favorite character, that attachment you didn’t even realize you’ve formed with these people you’ve been watching on screen.
Good entertainment, afterall, to me, seems much like a good philosophy on living life. It isn’t about the destination, it is about the journey.
And it seems to me, although Revenge is awfully predictable and has followed a familiar pattern, it has all those delicious elements it needs to guarantee its success.
And let’s just be honest here.. watching rich, beautiful people trying to bring each other down the path of oblivion?
Count me in, baby.