'Revenge' Review: A Cold Dish of TV Brilliance
'Revenge' Review: A Cold Dish of TV Brilliance
Laurel Brown
Laurel Brown
Senior Writer, BuddyTV
If someone launched a vendetta against the ladies of the Real Housewives world, it would look something like Revenge. Bitter, angry and stylishly beautiful, Revenge tells the story of one woman's quest for vengeance against those who ruined her life.

"This is not a story of forgiveness."

Emily Thorne (Emily VanCamp) begins -- and sums up -- Revenge with those words. A woman completely alone in the world, Emily arrives in the Hamptons with a pile of money and little explanation for it. But that doesn't mean she doesn't have a past. Far from it - Emily's past intersects (in a bad, frightening way) with just about every resident of her new Hamptons neighborhood.

As we soon find out, Emily is a woman wronged: Years before, her father was unjustly convicted of a heinous crime and imprisoned for life. And, not coincidentally, most of those responsible are now Emily's new neighbors.

You just know that all of these people are going to pay. But that's OK. Most of them deserve it. The possible targets of Revenge include:

  • Victoria Grayson (Madeleine Stowe): The viciously beautiful Queen of the Hamptons and possibly the most deserving of Emily's attentions
  • Conrad Grayson (Henry Czerny): The former boss of Emily's father and the morally-misguided husband of Victoria
  • Daniel Grayson (Josh Bowman): Once a notorious bad boy, now the beloved Grayson heir and Emily's romantic conquest
  • Jack Porter (Nick Wechsler): The son of a local bar owner and one of the only "good" people in Revenge (although this may be challenged early in the show)
  • Nolan Ross (Gabriel Mann): A computer billionaire who owes his fortune to Emily's father but is shunned by the neighbors
  • Ashley Davenport (Ashley Madekwe): Emily's kind but ignorant friend and introduction to the Hamptons world
  • Charlotte Grayson (Christa B. Allen): The youngest Grayson and a desperate bad girl attracted to a boy from the wrong side of the tracks
  • Declan Porter (Connor Paolo): The poor, local kid who falls for Charlotte and seems doomed to disaster as a result

Wherever the twisted plot of Revenge chooses to go, it's likely to go there in style. And the acting alone would make the trip worthwhile. The show's young star, Emily VanCamp, has an uncanny ability to change from bubbly, friendly girl to plotting monster within seconds. Meanwhile, Madeleine Stowe's Victoria makes you almost ready to root for evil to win.

We get only a few tastes of all-encompassing vengeance in the first episode of Revenge. The story opens at the end of Emily's first Hamptons summer -- during a party celebrating her engagement to Daniel Grayson -- and quickly turns to death. We then jump back to Emily's Memorial Day-arrival and her very first act of revenge. And let me just say it's a doozy. If the rest of the season brings come-downs like this, Revenge will be a truly wild ride.

The characters are deliciously awful. Emily's quest to right her life's wrongs is intriguing. And the promise of a summer of Revenge should bring vengeful heat through a long, cold winter.

Revenge will premiere on Wednesday, September 21 at 10pm on ABC.

(Image courtesy of ABC)