Saturday 24 February 2018

'Absurd, implausible, totally hysterical but hugely enjoyable' - 7 reasons we'll miss Revenge

REVENGE - ABC's "Revenge" stars Ashley Madekwe as Ashley Davenport, Nick Wechsler as Jack Porter, Connor Paolo as Declan Porter, Gabriel Mann as Nolan Ross, Emily VanCamp as Emily Thorne, Christa B. Allen as Charlotte Grayson, Madeleine Stowe as Victoria Grayson, Josh Bowman as Daniel Grayson and Henry Czerny as Conrad Grayson. (ABC/BOB D'AMICO)
REVENGE - "Exodus" - The wedding of the century has finally arrived and Emily's master plan is poised to go off without a hitch until enemies unite, bringing new complications and leading to dire consequences, on "Revenge," SUNDAY, DECEMBER 15 (9:00-10:01 p.m., ET), on the ABC Television Network. (ABC/ Richard Cartwright) MADELEINE STOWE, GABRIEL MANN, EMILY VANCAMP
Darragh McManus

Darragh McManus

They’ve cancelled Revenge? Well there’s a plot twist I didn’t see coming. In fairness, I never used to see the twists coming, simply because they were so huge and ridiculous and what the hell just happened, wasn’t she killed about three episodes back?

But that’s why we loved it. Revenge was like nothing else currently on TV, which is both good and bad, but mostly good (if, like me, you have a fondness for well-made trash). Here are seven things I’ll miss about the show:

1.  It was a proper soap.

All these moody, complex, believable dramas about tortured, morally ambiguous anti-heroes are fine and dandy.

But sometimes you just want some stoooopid entertainment, with baddies and goodies, black and white, simple lines, no metaphorical clutter.

Revenge was absurd, OTT, implausible and totally hysterical – which made it, of course, hugely enjoyable.

It harked back to the glory days of “big hair” soaps like Dallas and Dynasty, and made this lousy world a little bit more colourful and fun. Remember that, TV? Remember fun?

2.  The tangled families.

Victoria has a secret son who kills his own dad, and has a fling with Nolan, Emily’s pal and a loyal friend of David, Emily’s dad.

Charlotte turns out to be Emily’s half-sister because Victoria got jiggy with David. Charlotte had earlier got jiggy with Declan, whose elder brother Jack was in love with Emily but married Amanda, who was really Emily but pretending to be Amanda as part of Emily’s (as in the original Amanda’s) plan for vengeance on Victoria…

Sorry, whose dad was she again?

3.  The outlandish deaths.

We had people falling off buildings, getting sliced and diced by the blades of a helicopter, being impaled on a samurai sword, poisoned and suffocated, dying in bomb explosions…

We also had people escaping explosions at the last second, naturally.

4.  The fact that Emily and Nolan essentially had the same conversation for four years.

Emily (steely): “I won’t stop until I get revenge on the people who hurt my father.”

Nolan (pained): “Ems – the David Clarke I knew wouldn’t want this.”

Emily (steelier): “You can either help me, Nolan – or get out of my way”, etc. etc. etc.

5.  The settings.

Beautiful mansions, luxurious yachts, the sea, the beaches, the cutesy towns, the country clubs, the Hamptons dahling…

It made a refreshing change to depressing, derelict Baltimore or the sun-bleached isolation of New Mexico.

And probably tapped into some “that’s what I’d buy if I won EuroMillions” part of the dreaming subconscious.

6.  Victoria Grayson’s endless collection of body-con dresses.

And the fact that she was always kitted out to the nines, no matter what time of day it was, where she happened to be or what she was doing.

Hair “did”. Nails “did”. Make-up “did”. She was like some kind of ambulatory shop mannequin.

7.   Nolan.

From his extensive wardrobe of hideous clothes, to his inexhaustible supply of dinky little cameras that can be hidden in someone’s bedroom, to his apparently complete control over the internet and other digital technology, to his sexual fluidity, to his floppy hair, to his saddened puppy-dog expression when, yes, trying to talk Emily out of continuing her roaring rampage of revenge…

Nolan is the best friend we all should have had.

Catch the Revenge season finale as an dramatic double bill on Tuesday 19 May on RTE 2.

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