On Tuesday July 24th FX premiered a commercial free episode of its new series “Damages” at 10 PM EST. It is a drama series that stars Rose Byrne, Glen Close, Ted Danson and Tate Donovan among other well accredited actors. Most of the series actors I associate with movie films rather then television. Right there I knew if anything the performances would be worth checking this show out.
I first seen the initial television trailer for this show about two months ago and took note of the series premiere date. The trailer was so intriguing I knew I didn’t want to miss this one.
The story opens to a scene where the audience is left focusing on an elevator that is getting ready to open. Once the elevator opens we are zoomed in on a woman who has been apparently attacked in some way. She is bloody and her clothes are torn leaving the audience to immediately wonder what the heck happened to this woman and why? We are then taken to a scene in the police station where this woman is sitting in silence unable to speak about what has happened to her.
The story then goes into retrospect, six months prior to present day.
It is then where we learn the identity of the woman who was attacked as Ellen Parsons.
Ellen Parsons is played by Rose Byrne (28 Weeks Later and Marie Antoinette) whose character is a recent law school graduate who is known for her extreme intelligence and ambitious drive. It seems that Ellen Parsons turned down a rather lucrative offer from a respectable law firm to work for another well known firm, Hewe’s and associates lead by Patty Hewes.
Patty Hewes is played by Glen Close (The Shield, 101 Dalmatians and Fatal Attraction) a lead attorney in New York City who knows how to play hard ball to win her well publicized court cases. We as the audience just know that Glen Close will deliver a riveting performance, after all most of us remember her for her unforgettable role as Alex Forrest in the 1987 thriller “Fatal Attraction“. Patty’s associate Tom Shayes is played by Tate Donovan (Shooter, Nancy Drew and the Fox series the O.C.).
Ellen Parsons joins Hewes and Associates right brink in the middle of a major class action law suit against Arthur Probisher played by Ted Danson (Cheers and Becker). Arthur Probisher is one of the countries wealthiest yet corrupt CEO s.
In this intense drama all is not what it seems even revealing that Ellen Parsons was hired for something more dark rather then for her ambition and talent. As the audience puts the pieces together we come to one shocking revelation to another. The show is far from being fast paced which is something to get used to. It is with intent that the show moves at the pace that it does. If it were to move too fast then the audience would be left lost seeking constant translation as to what is really going on.
As the episode closed the audience is left with some rather surprising twists (which I was able to figure out thanks to the intentional slow pace of the show). All in all I have to say I am rather pleased with this new series as it offers a fresh new story line and a thick plot that leaves you wanting more.
The series engaging story line can be accredited to the writers. The writers to this new show are Todd A. Kessler (writer for HBO series the Sopranos) Glenn Kessler (also a writer for the Sopranos and Stella Shorts) and Daniel Zelman (What Lies Beneath).
The series is directed by Allen coulter (Hollywood Land, also both director and producer on episodes of the Sopranos).
The only thing that disappoints me is the time in which it is aired. This is strongly due to its television rating as M (for mature audiences only) based on its strong language and some sexual content. However these days the problem is easily solved by using your Tivo or DVR to record it. This is definitely worth setting up to record to watch during a time that you can give this new show your undivided attention. I give this new show two thumbs up for its originality and its exceptional cast.