Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The Best Thing About "Revenge" (Besides Madeleine Stowe!)

I guess what they say is true: Good things do come to those who wait -- at least until sometime after episode three. Despite its shaky start, Revenge is growing on me. I'm halfway through the first season, and while I'm not completely hooked, line and sinker, I'm sitting somewhere near the edge of my seat. During the climax of episode 11, when the birthday clam bake on the beach was interrupted by a psychotic wielding an unloaded pistol, I had to shift position lest I fall off the couch.

I remain unsold on the series' overall premise, the catalyst for the titular chain of events, and Emily Thorne's poker face (courtesy of Emily VanCamp's too-restrained portrayal) still kind of bores me. Thankfully, though, my beloved Madeleine Stowe is no longer spending quite so much time lurking on the sidelines, and Gabriel Mann never fails to entertain me whenever he pops up as Nolan Ross, Emily Thorne's partner in comeuppance.

I'm no great fan of voice overs, and the ones that end each episode are no less annoying than Meredith Grey's musings at the end of Grey's Anatomy, but as with Grey's, they sound better if you focus on the music that's playing in the background. Though the Revenge soundtrack is no match for the one that accompanied Ringer, last season's now-defunct woman-with-a-dark-secret drama that Revenge is constantly reminding me of -- and which, incidentally, did not include a Sarah Michelle Gellar voice over at the end of every episode, but began with one very similar to the Emily VanCamp narration that begins each round of Revenge -- the music supervisor for Revenge knows how to punctuate a scene with song.

The ones that play over the closing montages are episodic highlights, the perfect soundtrack to my closing thoughts on the fierceness of Madeleine Stowe, and by extension, Victoria Grayson, a less-hands-on homemaker Bree Van de Kamp with even more of a whiplash smile. I'd be as terrified of crossing her as the journalist in episode 12 played by Roger Bart, whose Desperate Housewives character, incidentally, crossed Bree Van de Kamp and didn't live to tell the tale. Uh oh! Out he goes again, in another blaze of un-glory.

Three Revenge Songs Worth Sticking Around (Until the End of the Episode) For

Little Dragon "Twice," from the end of episode 5

Silver Swans "Anyone's Ghost," from the end of episode 6 (a cover of a song by the National, whose "About Today" was one of my favorite things about Warrior, the 2011 film that should not, under any circumstance, be confused with Ke$ha's identically titled upcoming album)

Lissie "Nothing Else Matters," from the end of episode 11 (a cover of Metallica's 1992 Top 40 hit)

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