29 May 2012


Encouraged by this preview, I sat down last night to watch Revenge, the new serial on E4:

Yet if Revenge were nothing more than a sudsy guilty pleasure it probably wouldn't have become the success that it has. In the US it regularly pulled over eight million viewers and ABC recently rewarded it with the plum Sunday night slot recently vacated by Desperate Housewives.
So why did it work? In part, it's because under the sudsy trappings beats an altogether blacker heart. Revenge might be based on The Count of Monte Cristo but it nods to everything Patricia Highsmith's Ripley novels to Alfred Hitchcock movies. Yes, it indulges in melodramatic moustache twirling but it does so with a knowing wink ensuring the rise and (potential) fall of the house of Grayson is both gloriously over-the-top and darkly compelling.

Well, it wasn't as good as all that and certainly not in the class of Dallas or Dynasty.

But what really irritated me was that the first ad-break came eight minutes in and lasted more than three minutes.  The second ad-break occurred at twenty past and again lasted more than three minutes.  I calculate that, between nine and ten, there was at most 40 minutes of programming.

So no, I won't be watching it again ...

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