Two fresh-faced, seemingly wholesome Midwesterners (are there any other kind?) do the unthinkable by scoring a posh apartment in an exclusive building in the Upper East Side of New York City. However, their new dream home comes with some unwanted amenities.
Living in Sin
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Jane Van Veen (Rachael Taylor) and Henry Martin (Dave Annable) are unmarried sweethearts who long to leave the outer borough of Queens, New York, and trade up. The couple meet with Gavin Doran (Terry O'Quinn), owner of the opulent apartment building called The Drake, hoping to obtain the job of resident managers. Henry works for the mayor; and Jane, an aspiring architect, is unemployed. Doran is initially unimpressed with Jane and Henry's qualifications. On their way out the door, Jane throws a Hail Mary pass by wowing Doran with some technical and historically significant knowledge about the building.
Lead Us Not Into Temptation
The Dorans are anxious to cozy up to their newest tenants. Olivia Doran (Vanessa Williams) invites Jane and Henry to a swanky cocktail party and to the symphony. Olivia even buys Jane an expensive gown for the occasion. Gavin Doran takes Henry to the driving range, where he witnesses an ugly exchange between Doran and another man. Henry happens to have indirect ties to the same man that forbade Henry from having any communication with the man. It is obvious this minor transgression is going to cost Henry in the future, because every move Gavin makes is meticulously orchestrated. This is demonstrated metaphorically in the opening scene of the show.Something Wicked This Way Comes
With a clipboard in hand, Jane immediately starts taking stock of The Drake's many kinks, flaws and idiosyncrasies. She heads to the basement/laundry room, which lacks the opulence of the rest of the building, to say the least. Why is the basement in every supernatural/horror movie or TV show the epicenter of evil? While she tries to tighten a flickering light bulb, a ghostly apparition appears behind her. Jane also discovers a mosaic pattern of a dragon on the floor. Jane, intrigued by the building's history, does some digging around and finds out that a fraternal brotherhood called The Order of the Dragon used to meet in the basement of The Drake.
Don't Covet Thy Neighbor
Jane and Henry run into neighbor Brian Leonard (Robert Buckley) on their guided tour of the building that is conducted by doorman Tony DeMeo (Erik Palladino). Brian is a struggling playwright married to Louise (Mercedes Masohn), an alpha female and successful photographer. Brian starts leering across the street into the apartment of a luscious blonde, who doesn't seem to mind the intrusion. Fantasy turns to reality when the mystery blonde becomes his wife's new assistant.
The Devil is in the Details
Jane meets resident John Barlow (James Waterston) in the parking garage. Barlow is a bit manic and sporting a mysterious hand wound. It turns out that he committed murder so that Gavin will bring his wife back from the dead. As with any contract, there is a loophole. In order for his wife to remain alive, Barlow must continue to act as an assassin for Gavin.
For Whom the Bell Tolls
The phone calls are straight out of The Ring
, and the show "borrows" from numerous movies and television shows. Terry O'Quinn isn't showing much range as an actor, since Gavin Doran is just as cryptic and creepy as John Locke was on Lost
. When Louise Leonard has her elevator mishap, it is reminiscent of when the window slams down on the fingers of the young daughter in The Amityville Horror
. At this point, 666 Park Avenue
hasn't found its own unique niche. If it doesn't, the time slot could have a vacancy.
Jennifer Lind-WestbrookContributing Writer(Image courtesy of ABC)