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Talk Back: FX's "Damages"

Very curious to see what you all thought of last night's premiere of Damages on FX.

You can read my original review of Damages' pilot episode from back in June here, but I'm curious to know what you, my faithful readers, thought of the legal thriller's first installment.

Do you agree that Damages can be described as The Firm meets Murder One? Were you riveted by Glenn Close's performance as the so-determined-she's-deranged Patty Hewes? Did you believe Rose Byrne's Ellen was as ambitious as everyone makes her out to be?

And what, pray tell, did you all think of that gasp out loud ending?

Talk back here.


Unknown said…
Your review was a big reason that I kept this on my TiVo list, and I'm glad I did. I was impressed. Intriguing story, fast-paced, complex and not spoon-fed.

While I don't normally like flashbacks (or forwards), I thought the editing helped move the story along and keep it taut. There were no useless "passport" scenes, and the viewer was asked to keep up, rather than being coddled.

As for the reveal, I'd just finished telling my wife how glad I was Close is playing her character as ambitious but human. Then the big reveal dropped, and while it was fun(?), I was a bit disappointed that she's "that" kind of character. (I didn't think she was deranged until then.) Still, I'm pleased that the writers didn't think I was stupid enough to need a flashback to tell me what the "souvenir" meant.

Here's hoping it's not canceled in August.
Anonymous said…
I was very pleased with the script to screen adaptation. I still think the script was better, and had more of those Firm aspects, but I still really enjoyed it.

I love Glenn Close, but I don't know if I am yet sold on Rose Byrne. She certainly doesn't have that magnetism that, say, Tom Cruise had in the Firm, where you got why she was so wanted, but then again - she was only wanted because they needed her bf's sister (but then again - clearly she is wanted, as witnessed by her big offer from Philip Bosco at the beginning, so....I still think she's a little disappointing).

Only other big complaint was Zjelko's ridiculous accent. Poor guy didn't get the memo that this wasn't "Midnight in the Garden of Good & Evil - The Series"
Anonymous said…
Very enjoyable but I agree with Ally that the script was still better and tighter. And Rose Byrne was good but not great. I am really looking forward to the next episode, though, and see if gains momentum.
Asta said…
Your review along with others gave me high hopes for 'Damages', perhaps too high because I found myself disappointed. Glenn Close, while excellent, didn't show us anything new. And while I greatly appreciate morally gray characters on TV, I think they pushed the character too far to the dark side. Or perhaps when all is said and done she will be revealed as the villain of the show. Which also makes me wonder how this series could continue past the first season. Unless there is a twist in which Ellen doesn't find out the truth as to her manipulation and the lengths her boss is willing to go to, I don't know how she could continue to work for her.

I liked Rose Byrne, yet I'm not sure I buy her in the role. Ellen seems too naive to be this brilliant attorney we are suppose to believe she is (she was courted by another prestigious firm). And while I was actually happy to find out it was the fiance who was killed(the actor lacked screen presence and chemistry with Rose/Ellen), the pilot of 'Alias' immediately jumped to mind with the striking similarity to the murder of Syd's fiance.
Shawn Anderson said…
I'm with Mary on the Rose Byrne part. I like her as an actress, but she's just not believable as someone with the ambition this character would need to have. This is a key character of the show, and while it's written well, her character (and portrayal) leaves a sort of empty middle to the Close and Danson's fringes.

This is an example of where the trend of having British and Aussie actors (Byrne's Australian) portraying Americans has it's shortcomings.
George Pence said…
This was great drama! With perhaps the exception of "Twin Peaks," the best opening episode of any television show I've ever seen.

The direction and production values are first rate. Beyond that, Glenn Close and Ted Danson eat up every scene in which they play a part. (It should be a real contest when the two of them eventually appear together and share some dialogue.)

The character I'm not as sold on is played by Rose Byrne. She plays the brilliant young Ellen who enjoys a special aptitude for the variety of unscrupulous ambition that Patti Hewes has turned into a high art form.

However, as of now I'm not a believer.

Ellen figures out the obvious when it occurs to her that Hewes had an ulterior motive for hiring her, and then she allows herself to be dissuaded from what that character should be certain of.

So far it hasn't worked to characterize Ellen sequentially as a bright young innocent, and then as someone so devious and determined that Hewes respects her. So far, it's far easier to see the bright young innocent, than the meaner and more substantial stuff of which Hewes is made.
Anonymous said…
Articulate, intriguing story with enough twists to keep my attention. Interesting characters; I especially enjoyed Close's and Byrne's performances, but I was also drawn to the character at the firm that made Byrne's initial offer. So glad that I couldn't figure out where the story was going. Hoping the intelligence continues.
Anonymous said…
I hope it's not too late to comment. I have been ill and did not get on the computer for 2 weeks. At any rate, I LOVED THE SERIES AND HOPE IT RETURNS.

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