Revenge : Season 1

  • Network: ABC
  • Series Premiere Date: Sep 21, 2011
Season #: 1, 2, 3, 4
User Score
8.4

Universal acclaim- based on 322 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 19 out of 322

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User Reviews

  1. Feb 20, 2012
    5
    "The Count of Monte Cristo" it ain't, but "Revenge" has its virtues. First, TV hasn't yet exhausted its theme, though AMC's new "Hell on Wheels" and the current season of "Spartacus" also turn on vengeance. Second, "Revenge" plays on our love-hate relationship with great wealth, as characters with vast new fortunes take down characters with vast old fortunes. Third, the show announces a"The Count of Monte Cristo" it ain't, but "Revenge" has its virtues. First, TV hasn't yet exhausted its theme, though AMC's new "Hell on Wheels" and the current season of "Spartacus" also turn on vengeance. Second, "Revenge" plays on our love-hate relationship with great wealth, as characters with vast new fortunes take down characters with vast old fortunes. Third, the show announces a serious moral purpose right up front (Confucius say "dig two graves") then treats it like the surgeon general's warning on a pack of cigarettes. The assurance of righteousness without pesky ethical nuisances! "Hamlet" without soliloquies! So why isn't "Revenge" a 10? First, every character is a caricature. From the dissolute scion to the geeky bazillionaire who can't buy a friend, each is familiar and flat, a chess (make that a checker) piece, not a human being. For another, our avenger has the affect of a tree stump. When she topples a mark--which she does far too easily--she exhibits the satisfaction most people do after successfully boiling water. Yes, I know: she must conceal her smoldering rage, but, even when completely alone, she rarely does more than smirk (for more detail, see lunafromage's excellent description). This is the sort of woman who draws horns, scars, and eye-patches on pictures of her enemies, not the sort who masterminds the fall of giants, even the one-dimensional giants on this show. UPDATE: The first season is almost over, and America loves "Revenge," as witnessed here on Metacritic, where my review was labeled "not helpful" by 6 of 8 users. Woo hoo! Given that the most "helpful" review says, "um . . . like I can't hardly think why, but . . . um . . . like, I really, really l-u-u-u-r-v-e this show," I'm happy to be considered "unhelpful." Anyway, after 14 episodes, the series remains a bit of a head-scratcher. Much has happened in a short time, yet most of the characters seem oddly untouched, as though their souls, like their faces, were subject to regular injections of botox. Despite success beyond the wildest dreams of Edmond Dantès, as well as some shocking collateral damage, our avenger cannot manage to summon an emotion or arrange her features to simulate one. And it's not as though she lacks opportunity. At least five times an episode, she embraces her fiance and the camera zooms in for a close-up of her face. Her head lies against his neck, so he can't see her expression; nor can anyone else, as the couple is alone. Now is the time for Emily-Amanda's mask to slip, just for a moment. Does she loathe the man who holds her so tightly, or is she falling for him despite her carefully-laid plans? Is her vengeance driven by sorrow or rage or perhaps guilt that she, too, believed her father a traitor? Surely, her face will give us a hint. But, no, Emily VanCamp's expression is just mildly puzzled, as though she is wondering whether the groundhog will see its shadow this year or whether to order the low-fat vegetable stroganoff for lunch. The Golden Lab who plays "Sam" has ten times the range of expression, as do one or two other cast members. Madeleine Stowe clearly relishes playing the show's dragon lady and has mastered the menacing purr of the society psychopath. Even she, however, is two-dimensional, so far unconvincing as a woman Emily-Amanda's paragon of a father could have loved. But perhaps she'll get there; the show certainly looks as though it will be around for a long, long time. Expand
  2. Sep 22, 2011
    7
    It has style, but little depth. It will amuse the average TV viewer. It will also appeal to the Class warfare that the right love to yak about. Watch the "job creators" get whacked, one by one. Hey it's less painful than taxing them.
  3. Jun 22, 2012
    5
    At first I thought I liked this show. Its like a cross between Desperate Housewives and Harper's Island, which sounds soapy and boring, but the first few episodes seemed to have promise. I was expecting the plot to really get going and get more interesting but it continued to be very soapy and I got bored of waiting for it to all kick off. Maybe if it was on showtime it could be moreAt first I thought I liked this show. Its like a cross between Desperate Housewives and Harper's Island, which sounds soapy and boring, but the first few episodes seemed to have promise. I was expecting the plot to really get going and get more interesting but it continued to be very soapy and I got bored of waiting for it to all kick off. Maybe if it was on showtime it could be more focused on the actual revenge and better. Ringer was this years other soapy crime show and it was more focused on the crime and overall better. Basically, Revenge is a woman's show. Expand
  4. Jan 19, 2012
    6
    If your mind is on cruise control and you can't venture beyond the schlock that's typically on Fox, ABC, NBC and CBS, this show's for you. The critics are spot on when it comes to Revenge, it deserves a medicore 6.6. The user rating is peculiar, it's definitely not in the same league as the higher metacritic rated shows. This show harkiens me back to shows like Dynasty, Dallas, FlamingoIf your mind is on cruise control and you can't venture beyond the schlock that's typically on Fox, ABC, NBC and CBS, this show's for you. The critics are spot on when it comes to Revenge, it deserves a medicore 6.6. The user rating is peculiar, it's definitely not in the same league as the higher metacritic rated shows. This show harkiens me back to shows like Dynasty, Dallas, Flamingo Road and Falcon's Crest, and I don't mean that in a good way. Expand
  5. Apr 27, 2013
    9
    Season 1 was a warm up to real revenge. Season one finale indicated that season 2 will be much jucier and full of cliffhangers and it has proven its point. this show is mindblowing with it's plot twists and cliffhangers. In my opinion it should be renewed!
  6. nbc
    Jan 8, 2012
    10
    Revenge is absolutely addicting. The two standout actors of the show are Emily VanCamp as Emily Thorne and Margarita Levieva as Amanda Clark. The perfect word to describe this show? Juicy.
  7. Jul 12, 2012
    5
    At first, I liked Revenge. A lot. I mean, I thought it was one of the best shows of the season for the first couple episodes. But it turns out that Revenge is only really amazing when Emily VanCamp's Amanda Clarke is ACTUALLY getting revenge. Quickly, the tone shifts to a soapy show about her love life. I quit 11 episodes in.
  8. Oct 17, 2013
    10
    Mike Kelley has an imagination that is beyond normal. Unless if it's comic, people normally don't enjoy a TV show that just has characters talk and talk. Revenge shuts down this notion. Its characters throw some of the wittiest lines on TV. The story doesn't run in circles. The plot is wicked. It keeps you wanting to come back for more every episode, every season.
  9. Feb 8, 2017
    3
    Bad, bad, bad. The story is very cheap and not appropriate for a prime time series. Barely appropriate for daytime soap. The acting was subpar, the characters were not likable at all. Thankful that it ended after season 4.
  10. Sep 24, 2011
    8
    I like it ! its good ! amazing story , Acting and the characters are the best thing in this show ! can go on really long time ! but only Emily VanCamp seems a bit low to me but hope she will catch up !
  11. Mar 22, 2015
    9
    Love the intrigue and the suspense. The story is well written for a 22-ep season. I like how the show carry us to the moment which the pilot began. I really love the season finale. Was epic!!
  12. Sep 20, 2013
    9
    Love the Conte of Monte Cristo and now I love this show. Fun mystery, filled with drama-galore. Are the characters over the top? Is it a bit soap-y? The answer is yes and yes, but I love it. It might not be for everyone, but after a long hard day of work this is the type of escapism that I look forward to.
  13. Nov 1, 2014
    8
    At first, I was skeptical of what "Revenge" could do. But it won me over with the amazingly evil characters and truly Gothic touches. It's not brilliant, but it's never awful.
  14. Jan 22, 2015
    1
    Ugh! This show has gotten so bad and is now reaching. What began as an interesting premise of intrigue and revenge is now a Peyton place and night time soap opera. Whoever thinks that the crazy drug and liquor induced lifestyle of the rich and infamous is interesting? And the plots just keep raveling as opposed to unraveling and becoming even more confusing. It is a head ache! If theUgh! This show has gotten so bad and is now reaching. What began as an interesting premise of intrigue and revenge is now a Peyton place and night time soap opera. Whoever thinks that the crazy drug and liquor induced lifestyle of the rich and infamous is interesting? And the plots just keep raveling as opposed to unraveling and becoming even more confusing. It is a head ache! If the writers don't get their act together son I see the series ending very quickly. They have lost the focus totally. Expand
  15. Sep 27, 2011
    10
    One of the best new pilots of the season. Strong story, great acting, a protagonist who you can root for. Loads of drama, plenty of action, well written characters with depth. A mystery that will have you tuning in. This one is a recipe for success. ABC did good work here!
  16. Nov 9, 2013
    9
    Revenge is a very good show that is different than the other dramas on right now. However, this show needs to be moving at a more fast of a pace. I feel like this show is moving in the right direction, however still has area to make up.
  17. Oct 21, 2012
    7
    If this show can keep new characters coming and have huge plot twist, I think it could go for a long time. Im only half way through the first season and am enjoying the hell out of it.
  18. Oct 20, 2011
    8
    Revenge isn't an original concept (its based on The Count of Monte Cristo) but its a well built little show with a decent premise, a likeable cast that clicks with the audience and a great misunderstood villain in Madeleine Stowe. The only true shame of the show is that Emily Vancamp is so thoroughly boring as Emily Thorne/Amanda Clarke). A great new show, just a shame about the choice of lead.
  19. Aug 4, 2012
    8
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Overall this show has been a great addition to the addictive dramas ABC churns out. I was concerned about the way the season finished. Introducing the Americon Initiative seemed like a jump in order to try to take the show to the next level for the second season, but I remain unconvinced. The beauty of this show was in its intimacy. Emily had researched all the members of the conspiracy and infiltrated them and was very personally destroying the things they cared for above all. A government conspiracy draws away from that, it becomes very cold and institutional. I assume they chose to resurrect Emily Expand
  20. Sep 29, 2011
    10
    My new guilty pleasure. Emily Van Camp at her finest with a killer script that keeps you on your toes. This is quickly becoming my favorite new fall show.
  21. Dec 8, 2012
    5
    Its got a very good storyline, and the main characters portray it very well, but I realize with some of the cast, they mumble their lines especially in Season 2. It has become more noticeable. I am a fan, and therefore can put up with it. Also some of the episodes don't satisfy me than others. They usually drag out the purpose, therefore making the idea of "Revenge" boring.
  22. Oct 7, 2012
    10
    A show which is full of plot twists, great acting and characters. The brilliant ways on how the protagonist tries to get revenge, also a focus on a range of characters which storyline ties in the plot
  23. Nov 18, 2011
    10
    Everyone should give this show a chance! I was so surprised by the quality, it started out as a guilty pleasure that I was unsure of but with each episode I watched it kept on getting better and better. Along with Homeland, Once Upon a Time and American Horror story its the best TV drama of the year!
  24. Oct 1, 2012
    10
    Always keeps you guessing. As soon as you think you know where they're going..... they take it a different direction. Definitely one of my favorite shows on TV.
  25. Feb 1, 2014
    10
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. When I first saw trailers for Revenge on E4, I was SUPER excited for this show, as it showed how a drama is really supposed to look like. The series plot revolves around a woman named Emily Thorne who moves in in her old home where she used to live. She does this because she is getting revenge on the Grayson family for her father's imprisonment and death. For Emily to do this, she must do things like make friends with the enemy, steal, kill, lie, blame and just make everybody's life a misery. Later in the seasons, they introduce new characters like Amanda Clarke who is actually Emily Thorne, but it reveals in a flashback that they changed names for certain purposes. Another character that was introduced was Aiden Mathias. He was Emily's partner when they were training in Japan. In Season 2, Aiden killed his trainer by stabbing him with a sword. Now he returns to the show in Season 3 where he works for Victoria while still with Emily.

    This show is an outstanding TV show and this shows how great American TV can be when you take great actors/actresses, make a good plot and add some directors who know what they are doing.
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  26. Oct 15, 2011
    9
    Love it! Emily VanCamp is awesome in her role, even though I prefer her in a "lighter" role. The actress really has embraced the more sinister side of her character and I find it believable. I love the intrigue and mystery the show brings and the cast to back that up. I agree with some of the previous reviews that the theme/concept of the show is pretty fresh. I also agree that it is hardLove it! Emily VanCamp is awesome in her role, even though I prefer her in a "lighter" role. The actress really has embraced the more sinister side of her character and I find it believable. I love the intrigue and mystery the show brings and the cast to back that up. I agree with some of the previous reviews that the theme/concept of the show is pretty fresh. I also agree that it is hard to see how this would extend into multiple seasons. Nevertheless, it is here now and I will enjoy it while it is. Truly a good show and cast. Expand
  27. Nov 11, 2011
    10
    I am Absolutely in Love with this show!! I count the days until the each next episode comes on! The actress who plays Emily is Awesome as is the rest of the cast. I love the plot its drama & even comedy at times. I really hope it gets picked up for a second season althought I'm not sure if Emily will have anyone else to destroy by then.
  28. Nov 15, 2011
    10
    Best new show on TV! Every episode gets you more and more intrigued in its characters and in the story. Stowe and VanCamp are amazing! Wends nights do not come fast enough for me. REVENGE!!!!
  29. Nov 15, 2011
    10
    I cannot even begin to describe how good this show is! I reccommend it to everyone, this is the break out series of the year. Revenge is addicting, its good fun, it has great acting and a chilling story! Revenge is best served cold or in this case on ABC Wend at 10!
  30. Dec 14, 2011
    9
    Though Homeland is probably the best new show this season by normal standards, Revenge is definitely my favorite new show this season. It may not be something critics will praise, but if you like semi-campy soapy TV, Revenge is the cream of the crop. It is as though someone put a lot of time and effort into crafting a well-written soap. Those two things are rarely found in the sameThough Homeland is probably the best new show this season by normal standards, Revenge is definitely my favorite new show this season. It may not be something critics will praise, but if you like semi-campy soapy TV, Revenge is the cream of the crop. It is as though someone put a lot of time and effort into crafting a well-written soap. Those two things are rarely found in the same television show, but Revenge pulls it off flawlessly. Highly recommended. Expand
Metascore
66

Generally favorable reviews - based on 26 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 26
  2. Negative: 0 out of 26
  1. Reviewed by: Emily Nussbaum
    Dec 8, 2011
    70
    Revenge is too juicy to write off as junk. It's got strong performances, from actors who don't condescend to their flamboyant dialogue.
  2. Reviewed by: Dorothy Rabinowitz
    Oct 14, 2011
    80
    The arrival of one pure and unadulterated drama about a passion as old as man is something to celebrate. That's particularly true when that drama is as spellbinding in its satisfyingly gaudy way, as Revenge turns out to be.
  3. Reviewed by: Matt Zoller Seitz
    Sep 22, 2011
    60
    Revenge might sound enjoyably soapy in the abstract, but its execution is problematic.