Revenge, ABC’s hit primetime soap set in an extremely inaccurate version of the Hamptons, returns for its third season on Sunday, September 29, and is expected to take a different direction than its convoluted, droll second season.
With new executive producer (or “showrunner” as they say in the biz) Sunil Nayar at the helm of the once-steamy guilty pleasure, ABC head honcho Paul Lee has promised a “slightly less complicated” story for the next season, and I’m totally fine with that—does ANYONE know what the point of that ridiculous “Initiative shuts down New York City’s electricity” story was?
Looks like it may not matter, though. If Lee and Nayar are to be believed, we can expect a back-to-basics Revenge tale. And in my humble opinion, there are several necessary ingredients to a successful new run of Revenge:
-Evilly polite exchanges between the wickedly pleasant Victoria Grayson (Madeleine Stowe) and cold-as-ice Emily Thorne (Emily VanCamp) must occur at least once per episode.
-Poor little rich girl Charlotte Grayson (Krista Allen) needs to be reigned in. A lot. Is it too late to send the twit off to boarding school?
-Daniel Grayson (Josh Bowman) needs to stop with the corporate intrigue and go back to being the dumbest hunk in Southampton.
-Someone has to remind Aiden Mathis (Barry Sloane) that he isn’t actually James Bond and that not everything needs to be about avenging his junkie sister. “Hi, Aiden, nice day we’re having.” “MY SISTER WAS KIDNAPPED AND KILLED 10 YEARS AGO!” “Ketchup or honey mustard?” “MY SISTER WAS KIDNAPPED AND KILLED 10 YEARS AGO!” You get the picture.
-Jack Porter (Nick Wechsler) needs to take his shirt off more.
-Nolan Ross (Gabriel Mann) belongs at Emily’s side at all times to offer witty commentary on the ridiculous goings-on of the Southampton elite.
In the Season 2 finale, Emily was forced to reveal her true identity to Jack as he planned to shoot Conrad from afar. It was a dramatic reveal—Jack married a woman thinking she was his childhood sweetheart, when in fact it was Emily—but now that he knows, where do these two stand? Charlotte, meanwhile, reeled from learning she’s pregnant with Declan Porter’s (Connor Paolo) baby, but nobody bothered to tell her Declan was killed by a bomb set by her dad, Conrad Grayson (Henry Czerny). Daniel may or may not have wounded or killed Aiden, while Nolan got framed and arrested for every crime since the dawn of time, and Victoria received a visit from her long-lost first son she gave away as a child.
There was no actual actor cast for the role of Patrick at the time, so, like Dynasty, viewers would have to wait until next season to learn who’s playing the part. (As legend goes, Joan Collins was infamously cast as Alexis Carrington in Dynasty when Elizabeth Taylor’s management laughed at the idea of her appearing on the schlocky primetime soap.) Revenge has since announced that Justin Hartley has been cast in the role. Hartley is known to TV viewers for playing Fox Crane on Passions and Arthur Curry/Aquaman on Smallville. It’s unknown if the character will be sticking around, but it’s safe to assume Emily just found herself a new way to hurt Queen Victoria.
Since Declan has perished (eliminating one half of the show’s worst couple), Connor Paolo is no longer with the series. Ashley Madekwe, who has played wannabe social climber Ashley Davenport since the show began, is also reportedly leaving the series. Since every season begins with a disaster or death on Labor Day and then flashes back to May, could Ashley meet an untimely fate? The character has always seemed to float around without much purpose, and her most interesting story—in which she was revealed to have slept with Conrad while working for Victoria—lasted for one episode and was only done because former showrunner Mike Kelley read fan speculation on a message board and thought it would be interesting.
Oh, and let’s take bets on how much they’ll bungle their portrayal of the Hamptons this season! In the past, we’ve been introduced to Suffolk Hospital, the Hamptons Police Department, a rural Manhasset (it’s practically QUEENS, people!), learned that Montauk and Southampton are neighboring villages, that Montauk is where the “poor people” live, and that several trips back and forth from Southampton to Manhattan are possible each day.
We love you, Revenge! Don’t disappoint us this year!
The Revenge Season 3 premiere airs at 9 p.m. Sunday, September 29 on ABC.
Check back every Monday for Lee Meyer’s weekly “Hamptons Revenge Recap” to get the scoop and find out where the show went wrong about the East End!