Damages

My favourite thing about discovering a television series that’s a few years old is the fact that you can binge watch and you don’t have to wait every week to see how the plot turns out. A number of people have suggested that I get into Damages and as I’m trying to have a quiet week I started watching it on Monday. I finished Season One on Tuesday evening so suffice to say I got into it bigtime!

For those of you who haven’t seen Damages, it stars Glenn Close as Patty Hewes, a cutthroat New York attorney who specialises in Civil Law. Rose Byrne costars as her protégée Ellen Parsons and the rest of the cast is filled out with brilliant and often underused actors including Tate Donovan, Ted Danson and Philip Bosco. The first season’s plot is inspired by the Enron scandal and the following seasons take a similar current economic premise.

Unlike many police or legal procedural dramas Damages differs in two main respects; women are the main characters, and the story arc is spread across the series. TV shows like CSI, Law & Order and NCIS contain a plot within an episode and as a result are often tediously formulaic. Damages avoids this trap, providing genuinely cliff-hanging endings, and authentic depth in terms of character development which is often lacking in more episodic shows. It is similar to a drama like The Sopranos in that you might enjoy an episode if you happened upon it but you would miss many of the main story elements if you didn’t follow it throughout the season.

Season Two is a must watch for me. I’m looking forward to seeing how the remaining plot threads from Season One play out. Glenn Close gives a career defining performance in her role and Rose Byrne equally shows her considerable talents. It’s great to see women play meaty, often unsympathetic and unstereotypical lead roles and both actresses deserve the many accolades they have received for their performances.

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