Tuesday, 5 August 2014

"When I am through with you..."

I finally got round to watching the last series of "Damages" - the massively under-rated and over-looked tv show that is more than yer average legal drama. In fact, it's not about court-rooms and Judges bellowing "over-ruled!". It's a complicated, intriguing, who-dunnit/who will be alive at the end of it-crime thriller.

"Damages" is one of the best television dramas. Ever. The writing and the characters have been fantastic since the first series, with each series improving on the last. I'll be honest, I found the first series hard to get a grip on, with it's flash forwards and drip-drip-drip of information. The show's creators were as controlling and revelling in the mind-games as much as it's main character, Patty Hewes. 'Damages' draws the viewer into the game - you're always looking for the angle on the character's motives.

Pretty much says it all.
What really fascinated and gripped me with this series is the way practically every scene had a really juicy under-current of sub-text and double-meaning (and not in a jarring, nod-nod-wink-wink kind of way, either.). As a viewer you were never quite certain what was true or false, which I guess was the whole point of the entire series.

The series was also peppered throughout with some brilliant casting - Glenn Close was simply perfect as Patty, probably one of the coldest, emotionally complex characters ever written.But Close adds that extra, pure drop of basest evil known to man with just her eyes (I'm sure she's lovely in real life, but in this show she always looks like she's about to eat you alive. Whole.). Rose Byrne also does a fantastic job with Ellen, a role that could easily be portrayed as simpering and naive. She's so morally correct that you're just waiting for her to derail and transform into a younger version of Patty.
Not yer normal, zany Martin Short...
The rest of the casting was genius - Ted Danson, Martin Short, and John Goodman all played brilliantly against type, while Dylan Baker in Series 4 had the role of his career so far. William Sadler, Lily Tomlin, Tom Noonan, Tate Donovan, William Hurt, Zeljko Ivanek... to name a few; all playing complicated characters.
Just another day in court...
So if you've never seen it or only watched the first series, WATCH. ALL. OF. IT.