“Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves.” – Confucius. The show begins with this sentiment and I have to admit, I might be hooked already. I am a sucker for good quotes, especially thoughts that are as truthful yet enticing as this one…and then instantly, we are plunged into the world that is The Hamptons.
An elaborate fire & ice (red and white- themed) engagement party where the mother-in-law-to-be clearly hates the daughter-in-law-to-be and the groom-to-be is already dead on the nearby beach. DELAYED SPOILER ALERT… but it all happens in the first two minutes and trust me, this is a show where you need to keep up. Then we flashback…it’s Dynasty meets Melrose Place meets all the ‘guilty pleasure’ shows that have come before it. But Better.
Of all the premieres I have watched this season, this is the first one to truly excite me. I almost cringe as I admit it but it’s true what they say, sometimes revenge is just plain sweet. As for the plot:
Emily Vancamp/Amanda Clark (playing Emily Thorne) returns to ABC (formerly on Brothers and Sisters) but in a leading role. The show focuses on her character, now going by the alias Emily, who as a child of the name Amanda, grew up in the Hamptons and witnesses her father David’s (James Tupper) wrongful accusal, arrest, and demise, all propelled by the people they trusted. Now more than ten years later, she returns to rent their childhood beach home, currently owned by her father’s former secretary Lydia Davis (Amber Valletta). This house of course is conveniently located next to “The Queen” top socialite Victoria Grayson (Madeleine Stowe) who we later learn was having an affair Emily/Amanda’s father and was one of the main catalysts that put him away. Currently she lives in the mansion with her husband Conrad (Henry Czerny) who is actually having an affair with her best friend Lydia…you remember, the woman who’s house Amanda is renting, her Dad’s former secretary, keeping up?
The plot thickens when Victoria’s son Daniel (Joshua Bowman) quickly becomes a target for Emily’s affection but with an alterior motive. Additional characters include Jack Porter (Nick Wechsler) who is scene in flashbacks as the childhood crush of Emily/Amanda’s and still carries a torch for the girl evidenced by the fact he is raising her childhood dog Sammy and his boat bares her original name. A boat he is forced to sell in the opening episode to save his father’s long-standing seaside bar and grill from foreclosure. Of course he sells it to Nolan Ross (Gabriel Mann) who is the new money on the Hamptons and became rich through a web-based endeavor that Emily/Amanda’s father first invested in before his arrest and death. In another flashback, we learn Nolan picks up Amanda/Emily when she is released from foster care and is the one to tell her her father has passed, that she is co- owner of his company (and the millions that entails) and reveal a box of journals proving her father is not the horrible man she was told he was. Talk about a bomb of information! Not to mention her father’s final wish for her is to know the truth but to forgive… not exact revenge.
Need a diagram yet? I do. You get the point, it’s The Hamptons, it’s a drama, everyone has slept with everyone, betrayed each other, and no one is what they seem…especially Emily…uh, I mean…Amanda, and everyone already suspects that. While I may have presented this triangle…octagon as best as possible, I promise the show presents it even better and with all the glitz, glam, sexy men, perfectly unflawed middle age woman, and youthful lusting that this community is known for. The intention is clear, Amanda is out for revenge and no one is safe to stand in her way. The show promises more twists and turns than the drive through Long Island, and certainly many more tolls to be paid.
For better or worse, I have committed to this show and plan to enjoy the ride. In the words of Confucius, “To go too far is as bad as to fall short”. So I might as well keep on watching! At least, I think that’s what he meant.