Sunday Night TV: Revenge, Once Upon a Time, 666 Park Avenue, The Walking Dead

As promised, I’m going to take a closer look at the TV shows I watch, if for nothing else than it makes me feel more productive while watching them.

I’ll kick off with the beginning of the week on Sunday nights.

ABC wins with the most shows I watch: REVENGE, ONCE UPON A TIME and 666 PARK AVENUE. But AMC’s THE WALKING DEAD narrowly wins with the ‘Must Watch The Night It Airs” award.

* Early warning: There may be mild spoilers if you’ve never seen the show in question, although I’ll try to shy away from anything not made well-known by show promos. *

REVENGE

Now in the start of its sophomore season, REVENGE still manages to deliver on the thrills and suspense it created last year.

Emily Thorn/Amanda Clark is back in the Hamptons, continuing her quest to avenge her father’s death against those who framed him as a terrorist. ((MILD SPOILER AHEAD!!))

The new twist, at least for the start of the season, is that Amanda’s mother is still alive and has arrived in the Hamptons.

So far the show is keeping its pace and introducing enough new plot elements and characters to keep from feeling stale and treading down the exact same path as last season.

Why I love it:

  • I adore the soapiness/high drama of the narrative
  • Emily/Amanda is fabulously wicked, same with Victoria
  • Nolan and Jack (I still love Nick Wechsler from his days on ROSWELL)

ONCE UPON A TIME

Also in its sophomore season, ONCE UPON A TIME is still full of magic and surprises — with the caveat that it needs to do a little more soul-searching this season to figure out how to keep the story progressing forward.

OUAT follows the citizens of Storybrooke, Maine. All are storybook/fairy tale characters banished by the Evil Queen to our world with no magic and no memory of their former lives.

The first season had a natural and inventive framing with part of the story taking place in the “real” world, and part of it flashing backwards to their former lives in the fairy tale world. ((MILD SPOILER AHEAD!!))

Now that magic has returned to them, they have their memories and two of the main characters are back in the fairy tale world. Although there have still been flashbacks, the story is now split into a third narrative string (present/real world, present/fairy tale world, and flashback/fairy tale world).

Part of the charm of the show is how they crossover and weave the stories between the two worlds, so it’ll be interesting to see what happens as the show moves forward and how they balance telling all the different parts simultaneously.

Why I love it:

  • They had me at ‘fairy tale characters’
  • Snow and Regina, and I have high hopes for Aurora, Mulan, Hook and the continuation of Belle

666 PARK AVENUE

A debut show, 666 PARK AVENUEhas a lot going for it. The devil (?). High society New Yorkers. A decent cast. A spooky apartment building.

This one still needs to find its stride a bit. It’s part mystery-of-the-week, as (typically) a new person is profiled who has sold his/her soul for some gain, and part serial mystery, as Jane works to uncover the secrets of the Drake.

It has its moments, but sometimes the pacing feels off. However, I’ll be patient with this one — it paid off last year with GRIMM, which I felt the same way about when it debuted.

Why I like it:

  • The main characters are enjoyable and it seems like they’re developing an interesting overall mythology for the show

THE WALKING DEAD

“WOW” doesn’t even begin to sum up how this season has kicked off. I was a late-comer to THE WALKING DEAD— I watched all of Season 1 on Netflix during the mid-season break of Season 2 last year, read online how the first half of Season 2 played out, watched the second half of Season 2 live, then finally went back over the summer to see the episodes I missed. When it was on the air, Season 2 took a lot of flak for starting off slowly. I didn’t mind it so much, probably because I enjoy the character development but also because of the order I ended up watching that season.

But no one can accuse the showrunners of starting off slowly this season. ((MILD SPOILERS AHEAD!!))

So far we’ve been following our favorite zombie survivalists in two groups. Most of them are now stowed away inside of a (mostly) abandoned prison, while Andrea and newcomer Michonne have found themselves in the town of Woodbury with the Governor.

Not having read the comic books, I’m excited to see where the rest of the season goes (since SO MUCH has happened in just the first few episodes) and it’s been neat getting glimpses into the way other groups have been surviving. It’s shaping up to be a rollercoaster season for sure.

Why I love it:

  • Rick and Darryl (although I find myself missing Shane)
  • The Governor and his entire town are definitely intriguing (what’s with the floating heads??)
  • Merle!?! Can’t wait to see what happens between him and Darryl, especially since they’ve each changed so much since they last saw each other.
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