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Is Revenge the best new show of the season? – Quibbling Siblings

Every week brother and sister team Bob and Debbie take on a new topic. This week we discuss the best new show of the season, and both turn our attention to 'Revenge.'


There’s not a lot of crossover on our viewing habits, and even though it seems like we agree all time in this column, we generally don’t agree on much when it comes to the small screen (or big screen, or books for that matter). Today, though, I have a feeling we may be thinking the same thing.

With most of the new shows having already had their premiere, I think it’s time to pick a favorite. Per usual, I have to admit that I have been completely underwhelmed with the new shows, but there is one that has shown a lot of promise. Revenge seems to be the winner so far this season. Sure, it’s a little campy, and I’m not sure how the writers will keep the story going in every episode, but it is highly enjoyable. Madeleine Stowe has been fantastic as the cruel Queen of the Hamptons. This might be a career rejuvenating move for her.

What do you think about the new shows of the season?


Oh, how I want to quibble with you … it would make for much better reading! But I am head over heels in love with Revenge, and that’s the only new show I can say that about. I’ve dropped Ringer (sorry Sarah, I gave it Carla’s three-episode rule), Secret Circle didn’t make it past the first episode for me and I’ve not even tuned into Terra Nova.

I did like Suburgatory, though I don’t think I’ll bother tuning in every week … sitcoms aren’t usually must-see (though Community breaks that mold for me). And I’m anxiously awaiting future episodes (and the ratings!) of Grimm. Revenge and Grimm were my two favorite pilots.

But Revenge, I adore … down to the dog. I love that ridiculous yellow lab and how it’s so obvious that he remembers Emily and how Jack is so close to putting it together. I agree that Stowe shines in her role, as does Gabriel Mann as Nolan. The only thing I miss is that Marc Blucas played Emily’s father in the flashback scenes in the original pilot but since he was committed to Necessary Roughness, they had to replace him.

Like you, I do wonder how they will keep the story going, particularly if she gets her revenge in one episode each time. Something tells me they’ll be able to find more people who wronged her, and eventually, Emily and Victoria will probably be screwing each other over beknownst only to themselves and the viewers, so it will be fun to watch the battle of the bitches (kind of like Damages‘ Patty and Ellen).


Perhaps the conversation is a little premature. I’m still confused as to why there are so many shows that still haven’t had their premieres. Do the network programmers think it’s a great idea to let everyone set their watching schedule before they introduce a new show? It’s just aggravating.

I haven’t found any of the new comedies to be very compelling. They have all seemed quite unoriginal. But we’re here to talk about the good shows. Certainly I’m not calling Revenge flawless, and there is a good amount of camp in it, but it seems like it’s going to be a fun ride. I’m not sure about some of the minor characters, but we’ll see how they flush out.


Yeah, the one I’m not sure about is Jack’s little brother … begins with a “D” but his name is escaping me; that shows you how much he stands out! He just reminds me of The Karate Kid, that puny little Ralph Macchio getting picked on … so stereotypical. The Grayson daughter is also a bit weak. But this is one show (unlike The Vampire Diaries and Chloe King) that I’m not watching for the teeny-bopper characters.


Photo Credit: Jim Bridges/ABC

3 Responses to “Is Revenge the best new show of the season? – Quibbling Siblings”

October 6, 2011 at 3:09 PM

I’m loving this show too. I want to know how it will extend past the first season. If it gets picked up for another season, will Madeline Stowe and Amanda join up together in a twist to take on a higher conspiracy? My issue with Jack’s little brother is I have a hard time seeing him as straight after being Serena’s gay little brother on Gossip Girl.

The only other shows I’m really loving is the New Girl. Oh and Sweet Genius as the most ridiculous reality cooking show ever. Terra Nova isn’t bad, and I’ll stick to it, and Ringer is borderline. I really am looking forward to comparing the two storybook shows.

October 7, 2011 at 11:18 AM

I love Revenge! I am also looking forward to Once Upon a Time.

October 8, 2011 at 6:56 AM

I was cautiously optimistic about Revenge. Although I like VanCamp (more for her acting than her roles), I wasn’t sure she could pull off the hatred and ruthlessness required of the Count. Also, I find most ABC dramas a bit too sanguine for my taste. Lastly, my friends were questioning far in advance of the premiere how the concept could be sustained for multiple seasons.

I was pleasantly surprised to find that I agree with you fully about it being the best new show I’ve seen this fall, even edging out Person of Interest. In fact, between the two, I was practically forced to pick up Caviezel’s Count of Monte Cristo on Blu-ray, as well as devour the novel over a weekend.

I am hoping this won’t turn into Damages, though. An essential part of all versions of the story is the rehumanization of all the characters, even Emily, and the self-examination of their crimes and sins, following the culmination of the revenge. This can lead to absolution, death, or any fate in between. If the show simply devolves into moral relativism or nihilism (which I love in my films), I’ll rapidly lose interest.

VanCamp, Stowe, and Mann are mesmerizing in these roles. I’m not sure how I would have taken Blucas, since his usual blustery confidence and charm seem ill-matched to the unassuming, romantic father. Actually, the whole twist on the Count being one generation removed is morbidly amusing, as Emily ends up engaged to a boy who could easily have been her step- or half-brother.

What particularly elevates the show for me thus far are the coldness, determination, and cruelty of the Emily character. Far too many shows are afraid to make a central female character unsympathetic, and overcompensate by giving her so many emotions as to make her weak or indecisive. We see little pangs of this in her interactions with the Porter (“Morrel”) family and Sam, but it doesn’t give her the slightest pause in her work. I know that this will eventually change, but I have confidence that it won’t destroy a strong character when it does.

Jack’s little brother is named Declan, which reminds me of Kyle XY, as I didn’t watch Gossip Girl. What I really want from the show are more Sam, and for Ashley to be enmeshed more tightly in Emily plots.

So many of the shows mentioned above are truly terrible. I do like 2 Broke Girls, but it’s an entirely traditional sitcom. At least it avoids pairing a schlubby 40-something man with an entirely-too-hot 30-something woman. Terra Nova is fairly enjoyable if you ignore the gratingly ham-handed pilot, but it’s cut in the mold of a Stargate or Star Trek, and offers nothing new or challenging.

Too many bad SGU memories to look forward to Once Upon a Time, but it at least has a chance on Sundays. I’ve heard far better things about Grimm, and will enjoy the three or four episodes it airs before it goes the way of The Playboy Club and Free Agents. Splitting the genre audience with established veterans Supernatural and Fringe and only given a weakened, death row-countdown Chuck as a lead in? The show was programmed for failure.

Favorite new summer series: Alphas, Thundercats, NTSF:SD:SUV::, and, though in Season 3, I’ve just discovered the sublime glory that is Adventure Time.

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