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September 29, 2009

damagesI finished watching season one of the FX show Damages the other night, and I’m still not sure what to think of it. I want to like the lead female characters because they are powerful and intelligent and great at what they do. But they are kind of despicable people. I’m not sure what the deal is with these stories without a hero, but, like Mad Men, this show had no one I could root for. Everyone was lying and hiding secret agendas, playing double agent, or being so damned aggressive they might as well have been holding firearms. The one person who was sort of on the straight and narrow was rather boring.

The story was clever enough. It unfolded in a flashback structure that was effective and not too confusing. I enjoy non-linear storytelling. There were interesting plot points and interesting characters. Yet it seemed at every turn the point was to surprise and shock, to prove the star’s main point: Trust No One. Sometimes it served the story well, at others it was just over the top. How did all these crazy people end up associating with one another? Seems unlikely. But maybe it’s the power of like attracting like. They deserve one another.

It concludes in a satisfying enough way. The big case is over, and the next season is conveniently set up. People make amends where they can. Some closure occurs, and there are some loose ends, too. But it left me empty. I was entertained and hooked till the end, but I certainly don’t want to be like either of the two main characters. There’s not much worth emulating. I want to believe the world isn’t as bad as all that, though I fear it may be.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Julia Bates permalink
    October 4, 2009 7:12 pm

    Have begun to see how I want to pick and choose which shows I will follow via netflix. Buffy was riveting because of all the character development. Angel was not. Everything just kept getting darker. Mad Men was too close to what we wanted to leave behind in the 50s and 60s. I’ve gone back to Northern Exposure which really matches my vibes. I can see myself as Lou Ann running a small town grocery store in my 70s! Am also following Friday Night Lights and am amazed at how the coach balances all the tensions in a small football town. I actually bought that set for season 1 & 2 for the nights when Netflix hasn’t caught up. But only have one or two nights a week for TV anyway.

    cold and runny nose tonight. i won’t go visit the Paskows and take my germs. Maybe I’ll go read my own novel!

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