Revenge is an edgy show, but it’s also a network show, meaning it has to adhere to certain rules and regulations to keep it PG-13. But if Revenge was on HBO or was a Netflix original, how would things be different? Here are five things we think would have been done differently if the show was allowed to be more “mature.”
Nolan would have sex. Lots and lots of sex. We mostly see Nolan in the afterglow of a one-night-stand, or having dramatic, romantic kisses with whichever ill-conceived love interest he’s currently entangled with. If the show didn’t have to hold back, we’d imagine Nolan would be in crazy sex scenes each week. And with the Beach Club, he’d totally be indulging in some steam room fun. Or so we can dream…
Emily’s Takeda skills would be next-level violent. Who doesn’t love a good fight scene? The show does a decent job showing Emily’s brutality, but without censors, she could snap necks, use machetes and katanas, gouge out eyes—the (admittedly gruesome) possibilities are endless.
Fauxmanda would have been much trashier. While Fauxmanda was a fiery, volatile presence in the Hamptons, she fit in way too easily when she came here. This is a girl who spent her entire life in unsavory situations, from juvie and whatever got her in there, to becoming a stripper. Fauxmanda was whitewashed and tamed pretty quickly. Perhaps on a premium cable channel or streaming service, Fauxmanda would have been written more consistently and with much more bite. And less clothes.
The characters would react to situations with more realistic language. Look, we get that it’s not necessary for a character to use a four-letter word every five seconds (we’re looking at you, HBO), but how much more effective would the show be if characters had the freedom to swear? Charlotte could have uttered “Holy s—!” when she realized Conrad’s confession was being broadcast live, Fauxmanda could have had a real potty mouth, and Daniel could have used misogynistic and disgusting language when being rude to Emily.
Seasons would be shorter and more focused. Let’s face it—Revenge is a heavily serialized show that is weighed down by ABC’s mandated 22 episodes. A shorter, 10–13 episode season would let the writers tell the story they want without all the fluff, and increase the longevity of the series. Look at Showtime’s Hamptons drama The Affair, which was 10 episodes.