Wednesday, August 08, 2007

One to Watch: Damages on FX

If you're looking for some quality TV during the summer hiatus, you've got to check out some of the new shows on the cable networks. I've recently become hooked on FX's new series, Damages. It's so good and there's nothing on the big networks like it.

I'm not even sure how to describe it... the main characters are lawyers but the show is NOT like those courtroom procedural shows. One reviewer called it a thriller - that would be a good description.

The pilot opened with a chilling scene of a frantic young lady covered in blood running from something horrible through the streets of NYC. Then cut to 6 months earlier where we find out she's a bright, up and coming lawyer (Ellen) who's just been hired by a high power litigation firm headed by Glenn Close's character (Patty Hewes) - who is a total badass, very cold, calculating, cut-throat, etc.

The show cuts back and forth between the two timeframes - the backstory is that Patty Hewes is in the middle of a huge litigation case (think Erin Brockovich or Runaway Jury) and the person her firm is suing (Frobisher, played by Ted Danson) has a lot to lose. So it gets all dirty and sneaky and stuff.

The other part is what happens in the future, but you don't know the details and the show slowly gives you clues as to what happened. They usually do this with those chilling scenes which I think occur both in the beginning and the end of each episode. There's no dialogue in these scenes, they just show you what happened...

There's only been three episodes so far and here's how each one ended (if I remember correctly):
1. Shot of Ellen's fiance murdered in their bathtub (Is this what Ellen was running from?)
2. Shot of Ellen standing over her murdered fiance all covered in blood herself (same condition as the opening scene of the pilot) holding a bloody statue of liberty bookend (Did Ellen murder her fiance?)
3. Shot of Ellen actually being the one who was attacked - someone was trying to kill her

OK, I've realized that I've made this show sound all creepy and gory. That's actually just a small part of the show - but they're the cliffhangers that make me keep tuning back in. I want to know what the heck happened to this girl!!!

But the bulk of the episodes highlight Ellen and Patty and the rest of the firm working the case, Patty testing Ellen as the rookie on the team, Ellen trying to balance her career and personal life, Ted Danson and his lawyer scheming away... etc.

It's been really good so far... I would consider this "movie-quality" if that means anything.

Tuesdays on FX at 10PM...

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