FX's thriller-mystery series Damages, starring Glenn Close, was one of the best entertainment-related things to come out of 2007, period. It's dark, edgy, and so well written, it succeeded in becoming another one of FX's shows (along with Nip/Tuck and It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia) that brings the cable channel into a whole different league. These shows have way more in common with stuff you'd see on HBO or Showtime than say, USA. In fact, as Broadcasting & Cable points out, "Damages, along with AMC’s Mad Men, became the first basic-cable drama series ever nominated in the Golden Globes Outstanding Series category."
The show won't pick up again with new episodes until 2009, but if you missed the first season last Summer, FX is reairing the entire season tomorrow, Saturday Aug. 9, starting at 7:00 a.m. To find out what I love so much about this show,
Glenn Close plays ruthless litigator Patty Hewes and Rose Byrne is Ellen Parsons, Patty's young, doe-eyed employee. Together with senior associate Tom Shayes (Tate Donovan), the team is embroiled in a class-action suit against billionaire CEO Arthur Frobisher (Ted Danson). Yet when murders start occurring — including the murder of someone close to Ellen — Ellen realizes the stakes are way higher than she'd originally perceived. Intricately-woven mysteries, red herrings, and crazy plot twists (like even more shocking murders) abound.
It's most fascinating to watch the dynamics of Rose Byrnes and Glenn Close's hero-villain dichotomy, partly because it's refreshing to see two female leads in a legal/crime drama. In particular, Close engages the audience in a constant push-pull; just when we think of Patty as the most evil, amoral snake imaginable, she somehow gains our sympathy — for just a moment. But that moment is enough to keep us riveted.
Photo courtesy of FX