Catching Up With ‘Revenge,’ Season 2

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Many things happened this fall: there was a Superstorm, there was a Presidential election, and there was a CIA sex scandal. Perhaps most importantly, however, was the return of Revenge, that most guilty of TV pleasures that pulled off a near flawless freshman season. Ah yes: season 1. Those were the good days. Back then, Revenge was about steamy affairs, romantic duplicity, teenage goofiness, and campy slap-fights. Sure, the show tested its credibility when it introduced such silly conceits as Takeda, the shadowy mentor from the Far East. And sure, the stylized flashbacks were often a dreary bore that were entirely too serious for this nighttime soap. But hopefully the writers could see these weaknesses and course correct for the second season, right? Right?

Mmmmmmmnot so much. Season two of Revenge has fallen into the same trap that ensnared The OC, Desperate Housewives, and eventually Gossip Girl. It has introduced too many uninteresting characters, asked us to care about things that we never signed up for, and failed to make all the various subplots have any relevance to each other. If I never hear about The Initiative again, I’ll be happy. However, like Victoria Grayson enjoying a clambake, I know certain things just cannot happen.

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VIDEO: Clearly The Best Moment of the Revenge Finale

The Revenge season finale was just about as excellent as we could have imagined, full of plot twists and cliffhangers that will have us eagerly awaiting the second season premiere this fall. For all the craziness in the hour, however, the best moment for me came during a quiet scene in which Emily opened a gift from Victoria.

The brief exchange that followed was CLASSIC Grayson.

I love this show.

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REVENGE RECAP: Emily Realizes Something She Should Have Figured Out A Long Time Ago

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Lordly loo it’s been a while since I wrote a Revenge recap. So much has happened. Let’s see — there was that engagement party where Daniel was shot, but it actually wasn’t Daniel. It was Tyler. And Daniel shot him. But Daniel didn’t kill him. No, a second person killed him — Emily’s strange Asian sensei, to be specific — but as luck would have it, Amanda (née Emily) was there too? And then Jack showed up because he was looking for Shamanda. And then Declan and Charlotte saw Jack. And Declan was all “Hell naw” and Charlotte was all “Why are there three Jack Porters there? Oh that’s right I’m high on drugggssweeeeeeeeee!!!!”

Anyway, Daniel has since gone to jail, and Ashley has stepped up to be a major and riveting character. Just kidding. Poor Ashley has been relegated to the sidelines — thrown a scene at the top of every episode where she tells the press “No further comments at this time! Tally ho!” Heck, even family attorney BROOKS gets more screen time than Ash these days. Everybody loves Brooks. It’s all they can talk about. Next time Charlotte has lunch, I fully expect Victoria to shout, “SOMEBODY TELL BROOKS ABOUT CHARLOTTE’S HAM SANDWICH.”

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And Now A Master Class in Great Soap Melodrama

Revenge came back last night, and as usual, it was all about Victoria. I hope to post a recap of the show later today or tonight (fam is in town visiting; so I’m behind schedule), but in the meantime, enjoy this scene which seems to take every great melodramatic, soap-opera trope and roll them into 30 seconds.

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REVENGE RECAP: Another Dinner Party Goes Off Without A Hitch!

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Well the shit CERTAINLY hit the fan on last night’s Revenge. To be fair, the shit always hits the fan on every episode of Revenge, which is probably why I love it so much. But last night — man, this was SERIOUS shit hitting a SERIOUS fan. As in, someone just ate three burritos and backed their bootay up to an industrial sized machine reserved solely for blowing air into Beyoncé’s locks. Am I taking this metaphor too far? Perhaps. But is it wrong that I found a way to reference Beyoncé and an allusion to diarrhea in my opening paragraph? I should say not.

But I digress. Last night’s Revenge was oh so good. Needless to say, if you haven’t caught up yet, stop what you’re doing right now because the rest of this recap will spoil a deliciously fun hour (I say that as I raise a pinky to my mouth).

For those who fear not spoilers, proceed!

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10 Casual Dining Dishes, As Presented By Victoria Grayson

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Revenge hasn’t been new in two weeks, but that doesn’t mean I still can’t find ways to write about the show. Naturally, I decided to do the next logical thing: imagine Victoria Grayson discussing ten of her favorite offerings from such establishments as Applebees, Chili’s, Outback, and the like.

After the jump, check out ten casual dining dishes, as presented by Victoria Grayson…

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REVENGE RECAP: Like Anyone Would Want To R Her

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Revenge was on fire last night. So many great things happened: Jack got beat up (yes!), Victoria seethed extra hard (yes!), and Lydia rolled into Grayson Manor with a gun-turret attached to her wheelchair and plowed down anyone in sight. Okay, maybe that last thing didn’t happen, but oh, if it had, this might have been a perfect episode. The show was definitely in the campy, pulpy zone — as best exemplified by the soaring, EVIL strings that played when Daniel proposed to Emily in the rain (by placing what appeared to be a Super Bowl ring on her finger). On a lesser soap, we would have been treated to joyous music signaling young love and sturdy umbrellas. But here on Revenge, the director played up the film-noire, femme-fatale qualities of Emily, turning this supposedly wonderful life-event into a dark and mysterious affair.

This, of course, was made all the better by Madeleine Stowe, who as Victoria, embraced her son’s new engagement with all the enthusiasm of a woman being punched in the stomach. She succeeded in expressing utter disapproval with the iciest of smiles — perhaps the coldest, meanest rictus we’ve ever seen on network television. Beware the Victoria Grayson smile. It will kill you.

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REVENGE RECAP: What A Novel Idea!

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Revenge got back to basics last night as the show returned to its fun format of introducing a guest star and then utterly decimating his or her life by the hour’s end. This week’s sap: a smarmy biographer named Mason Treadwell (played by Broadway star and Desperate Housewives creep Roger Bart) who capitalized on David Clarke’s downfall by burying him in slanderous prose. It’s no wonder that Emily was so quick to pull out her SHARPIE OF DOOM and mark a big, fat X on his face.

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REVENGE RECAP: Happy As A Clambake

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After a tortuous break, Revenge returned to the airwaves last night with a rather action-packed episode — one that saw Tyler finally reach his breaking point, alternately threatening the Hamptons’ elite with knives, guns, and unhinged self-destruction. You see, Tyler had been on a downward spiral ever since his murky plans to ingratiate himself into the Grayson family began unraveling. It also didn’t help that his gay-ish crush on Daniel had gone unrequited. At the heart of both stymied plots was none other than Emily herself, and as we all know, there’s only room for one psychotically deranged bitch on the South Shore.

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10 Victoria Grayson Takedowns We’d Like To See

Revenge returns with a new episode tonight, and in honor of this momentous occasion, I’ve decided to compile a list of Victoria Grayson takedowns I’d like to see. As portrayed by the inimitable Madeleine Stowe, Victoria is the master of the seething, icy put-down, and there’s no better example than the video above, which shows her uttering her famous line: “Understand something, Lydia: every time I smile at you across the room or we run into each other at a luncheon or I welcome you into my home, let that smile be a reminder of just how much I despise you. And that every time I hug you, the warmth you feel is my hatred burning through.”

It’s a terrific, scathing scene, and I want to see more like it. After the jump, ten suggestions of other things Victoria can dismantle with her cold, unforgiving tongue. Continue reading

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