Thursday, January 28, 2010

What I’m Watching: Damages (Season Premiere)

Damages: Season 3, Episode 1 “Your Secrets Are Safe” (B)

I’ve never been a true fan of this show, but I made sure to watch it since it’s clearly an Emmy magnet and people generally seem to like it. The second season was probably better than the first, though you won’t find any reviews of it on this site since I wasn’t blogging while in Italy during the time that it aired. But I’ll be covering all of season three, and by the looks of it, this is the strongest start yet. While I still feel that the show is hindered rather than helped by its constant need to flash-forward and shock with all of the major future developments, the case and direction of the show seems like it’s in good shape. All of the new characters seem very interesting, and focusing on a Ponzi scheme feels relevant and like it will involve much more legitimate lawyerly work than all of the corruption and murder that occurred last season. The additions to the cast – Len Cariou, Campbell Scott, Lily Tomlin, and Martin Short – are all great, and this may well be the best ensemble the show has had yet. This is also the least annoying that I’ve found Ellen yet, so that’s a positive thing. The D.A.’s office is a good place for her, and her same-level relationship with Patty is nice to see. Ben Shenkman (Burn Notice) also seems like he’ll play an interesting part, working with both Ellen and Patty. The closing juxtaposition of shots is perhaps the most striking and powerful of the whole episode, showing Tom’s dead body six months in the future and then flashing back to him watching as the sign with his name is put up. Tom won’t necessarily be missed, at least not yet, but that’s certainly not an image I’ll soon forget.

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