Revenge (Wednesdays at 9 PM on ABC)
At the very beginning of the new TV season, I picked Revenge as the unfortunate winner of the 2011 Gone Too Soon Lone Star Memorial Award presented to the first cancelled new show. I based this on nothing more than the fact that Revenge is an obvious CW show on the alphabet network and that it stars that girl from Everwood and Eric Van Der Woodsen from Gossip Girl. It just didn't seem like a show that would appeal to many viewers, myself included.
But I voiced my opinion before I knew that the pilot episode was getting a full-hour Modern Family lead-in and that the show stars Madeline Stowe (huge draw) and that, well, it would actually be pretty good. And pretty good, it is.
The Good: This show isn't as funny or as quirky as Veronica Mars; but maybe because of the young blonde fish-out-of-water lead and the overarching mystery, Mars is the show I keep coming back to when I think of Revenge. Maybe it's because I think this one will be just as hard a sell with the audiences as Veronica Mars was back in the day. Maybe it's because there are two guys you know are going be vying for Veronica's...erm...Amanda's attention all season. Maybe it's because of the season long mystery arc. Honestly this show is nothing like Veronica Mars. Maybe I just want it to be.
Also, the actors are likeable, the houses in the Hamptons are gorgeous, and the story is compelling enough to keep me interested.
The Bad: This is another one of those shows with a very definite mystery to be solved, like 24 or The Killing. I would love, for once, for a TV show like this to have the balls to come out and say that this show is going to be on the air for one season only. People would watch. If The Powers That Be had been, like, watch The Killing because it's only going to be on one season and at the end you'll definitely know who killed Rosie Larsen, viewers would love it. They'd eat it up. So while I have faith in the showrunners on Revenge to tie up this first season nicely, I have a feeling the show will falter a bit when and if it gets a second season pickup, just like Desperate Housewives and the aforementioned 24.
The Verdict: Check it out. One of the better pilots of the season so far.