Why We Love…..DAMAGES
[There’s a lot of shabby entertainment out there we’re constantly filtering through, so “Why We Love…..” is a new profile series to remind us of the good things out there we’ve ignored, forgotten, or taken for granted.]
Have you not watched Damages yet? I know, I know, it’s in your queue. It languished there over a year for me too, but after Snarky named it a top underrated show on television and Ev encouraged new year’s resolutions that support good TV, I finally got my Netflix Instant on and watched season one – all in a row. A day after finishing it, I began watching season two – all in a row. Sure, TV marathons are not new, but there is something extra addicting to Damages that Redlami also gets:
I adore Damages! I like the “every season is a miniseries” format, which is perfect for weekend marathons. Glenn Close hasn’t exuded this much delicious villainy since Cruella DeVille. She keeps the drama bar high for all the other actors, just as Ted Danson keeps the comic relief limbo pole low.
I hesitate to say things like “the role [actor] was born to play”, but this really seems to be the case here with Close, except I could go further and say it’s the role her entire career has been destined to arrive, every part leading up to this was a rehearsal. Unscrambled points out the same could be said of Ted Danson, and it’s true, I can’t imagine any other actor playing the role of Arthur Frobisher any more than I can imagine someone besides Close playing Patty Hewes. There are acting powerhouses all around, as Snarky’s Machine points out:
Damages takes familiar actors and completely casts them in unfamiliar ways. I see you, Martin Short and Marcia Gay Harden. Who hasn’t waited to see Big Chill costars Bill Hurt and Glenn Close reunite on screen?
Even character actors such as Zeljko Ivanek and Michael Nouri get some time in the sun on the show. Plus Timothy Olyphant and Lily Tomlin! Lost in all this name-dropping is the co-lead of the series Rose Byrne, who has snuck up on me as a favorite actor; she manages to hold her own in the big scenes as Ellen Parsons, the new associate who is played off of Close’s Hewes. But don’t fear this is some dusty theatrical show filled with dramatic monologues, the suspense and storytelling of the show are the engine providing momentum. The first episode of each season starts with a bloody crime, then flashes back to the beginning, revealing small detail after small detail, moving both forward and backward in time, and in the process uncovering backbiting, calculating conspiracies and murderous schemes. As Snarky also says:
Damages provides a stellar example of how to elevate a shifting timeline from a gimmick to sophisticated narration.
Each season is around a dozen episodes and while the first season is still my favorite, each successive season has its gifts as well. Treat yourself this week and make watching Damages a priority, we think you’ll love it too.