ABC’s Sunday night lineup is strong. One wondered how they would ever compete with the HBO, Showtime and other cable networks wonderful shows. But, ABC proved it’s still packing a major punch in the storytelling field. “Once Upon A Time” and “Revenge” returned with shockers, and “666 Park Avenue” is the newest guilty pleasure for viewers. They all were sensational tonight.
“666 Park Avenue” opened in a very eerie scene, and we learned that the building in the heart of Manhattan is filled with evil, led by Vanessa Williams and her on-screen husband Terry O’Quinn, both who are excellent in this show. “The Shining” meets “Dynasty,” I call it. From the very beginning, it’s clear that the show’s setting, the Drake, is as deserving a shot at the spotlight as the rest of the cast, especially since the pilot decides to show the apartment building’s dark side before introducing it as a bustling hub of activity and personality tucked away inside New York City.
As soon as the lovely Jane Van Veen, played by Rachael Taylor of ABC’s short-lived Charlie’s Angels reboot, and her boyfriend, Henry Martin (Dave Annable), catch a glimpse of the high-class wonder that is the Drake, it illustrates just how far they are from whatever goals they’ve set forth for themselves. Jane’s an up-and-coming, but out of work architect, and Henry’s a young lawyer working for the mayor. The pilot makes it pretty clear these are two career-minded individuals – not altogether unlike the rest of the Drake’s residents – who are looking for their chance to get ahead and prove themselves. The only trouble is, they’ve no idea what they’ve stumbled onto with the better-than-it-looks offer to serve as the Drake’s apartment managers.
Though the major plotline hinges on Jane and Henry, and their gradual acclamation into the super-wealthy and high end lifestyle of the Dorans, the Drake has plenty of other creepy residents knowingly making their wildest dreams come true – and a few who are just as clueless as Jane and Henry. Enter emasculated playwright Brian (Robert Buckley) and his alpha wife Louise (Mercedes Masöhn). Brian can’t seem to get past the first line of his new play, what with all the distractions of Louise sending him all over town to get just the right soy milk and the way the lady in the apartment across the street keeps locking eyes with him all the time. It seems the Dorans (and possibly the Drake itself) may have plans for the residents, and Brian especially, after nearly crushing Louise to death with the elevator door.
This clever creation is really a hit!
“666 Park Avenue” airs Sunday nights at 10pm on ABC.
But first it was “Once Upon A Time.” When the season ended last spring, I was worried that the series wasn’t going to be able to capture its excitement once again. After all, these are fairytale characters we all have our own ideas about, from childhood stories of course. But wow, ABC’s “Once Upon A Time” came roaring back in the two-hour opener, and it was kismet. Last season when it ended, Regina’s curse on the residents of Storybrooke and Mr. Gold subsequently brought magic to this world in the Season 1 finale, ‘A Land Without Magic’. Now we’re finding out the cost of that magic and who will have to pay the price. In OUAT’s Season 2 premiere, ‘Broken,’ all the fairytale characters’ memories have been restored, but they are still in jeopardy, as they remain trapped in our world. Naturally they want revenge on Regina including Mr. Gold for imprisoning his beloved, Belle, in an asylum for 28 years. Since Mr. Gold has some serious magic at his disposal, he unleashes a soul-sucking wraith on Regina. Needless to say this beastly behavior puts a damper on Mr. Gold’s and Belle’s relationship.
Emma as always, again she takes the high road and tries to save Regina from the wraith. They plan to trap the wraith in a realm-jumping vortex through the Mad Hatter’s hat which Regina still possessed. Unfortunately, the wraith grabs Emma’s ankle as it’s being sucked into the hat and Snow jumps in after her daughter.
The vortex closes before Charming can jump in after his family. He then lashes out at Regina, promising to kill her, but she threatens him by making the vine wallpaper come alive and begin to strangle him. Henry sees Regina trying to kill Charming and the vines stop strangling him. Henry decides to leave Regina after believing she truly is the Evil Queen and goes to live with Charming instead.
In the meantime, in Fairytale Land, Mulan and and Prince Phillip are trying to find the Princess Aurora (Sleeping Beauty). A new evil is unleashed upon them when a wraith marks Phillip because he bears a special talisman. The wraith ends up sucking the soul from Phillip and Aurora is devastated to lose her prince. The big reveal comes at the end of OUAT when Mulan throws aside the debris at the castle, showing Emma and Snow unconscious in the rubble. Mulan blames Emma and Snow for bringing the wraith with them.
So, how will Emma and Snow ever get back to our world or will the characters in Storybrooke ever return home? I don’t know the answer to this, but I can hardly wait to see where it all goes.
But it’s “Revenge” that came back with a passion. Just as we thought, Victoria’s alive, but we didn’t realize who she was aligned with until the end of the episode. Emily’s decision to continue her quest for vengeance will be a major plotline this season. The Graysons won’t know what hit them. Based on last spring’s game-changing season finale and tonight’s premiere, the answer is an emphatic yes. “Destiny” set the stage for what looks to be another intense chapter of this uniquely high-end melodrama. Like last season, it began with a glimpse of a shocking event hinting at the demise of a core character, then immediately flashed back three months to begin a 14-episode exploration of how we got there. Yes, guys, only14 episodes.
But things in the Hamptons are much more dangerous this year, than ever before. Tonight, Emily’s priorities have shifted from ensuring the Graysons’ ruin to uncovering the truth about her mother. For the other characters, the circumstances have dramatically shifted as well. The biggest one, is Victoria lives, and her family will learn that next week. Charlotte may end up dead long before her time, and Emily VanCamp’s even more lethal than before.
The conspiracies are growing on this show, I just hope writers are careful not to make the plots too convoluted. So far, they have not ventured in the wrong direction. So far, they have been dead on!
“Revenge” airs Sunday nights at 9 p.m. on ABC.
Photographs are Courtesy: ABC
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