Sunday, September 7, 2008

Damages 1-10

I have but three episodes left to watch of the first season of Damages - nominated for an Emmy* - and while I'm waiting for the last disk for Netflix, I thought I'd say a few words about what I've seen...

Grim, powerful punches to the solar plexus. Glenn Close in the lead role of Patty Hewes is an actress as a lawyer to be reckoned with (and thoroughly deserving of her Emmy nomination). At this point, about all I'm not willing to put past her is murder. Ted Danson as the CEO Arthur Frobisher of the Enron-like company Patty is suing is the least funny - and best - of his career (though his hilarious spots on Curb Your Enthusiasm are a close second). Zeljko Ivanek has been superb on everything from Homicide to 24 in the past, but never better than Frobisher's brilliant, tough, but almost endearingly vulnerable lead attorney - and a good match for Patty. Tate Donovan as Patty's second-in-command is outstanding, too.

But Rose Byrne as Ellen Parsons - hey, she was in Attack of the Clones - as the new addition to Patty's office is the gem of gems on this show, and the centerpiece of the story...

Which is ... she finds her former fiance murdered, after having been almost murdered herself, and the police (of course) suspect her. The story is told via a series of harrowing slivers of the present, with much longer flashbacks to months ago, which close in on the present as the series progresses.

Damages is really much more than a lawyer show. It's more of a blend of The Fugitive and Lost. I'll be back with more after I see the ending, and with reviews of the Season Two on weekly basis when it's aired in early 2009 on the FX Network.

*Damages and Mad Men are the first basic cable series to get Emmy nominations. Details in the video that follows. My generally rave reviews of the first two seasons of Mad Men start here.

See also Season 2 reviews: Lying with Damages

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