|Vanessa Williams as "Olivia Doran"|
The show is a supernatural narrative about a decadent Upper East Side apartment building in New York City called the Drake. The owner and landlord is Gavin Doran, eerily portrayed by Terry O'Quinn. He has the ability to grant wishes for a price (of course). Wikipedia describes Olivia Doran (Vanessa Williams) as "the coldly beautiful and sophisticated wife of the building's owner", and that's a spot-on description. Williams gave a subtle yet distinctly chilly performance in the pilot. And she looked absolutely flawless in every scene.
Now, I realize this is just the pilot and I don't know much yet, but I do have some concerns. The premise is fascinating, but I'm not sure how if a series format can sustain it year after year. Already we know there was something called the Order of the Dragon, and that they used to meet in the sublevels of the Drake. We've already seen the dragon emblem on the floor of the basement. We know that the building residents are trifling, selfish, horny, and human, therefore the perfect targets for the Dorans.
Which brings me to my next concern...is it the Dorans the residents should fear or just Gavin Doran? What role does Olivia serve exactly? We see some of her, certainly enough to make us curious, but I worry she's just a lure. I mean, her character's got game; she buys the main protagonist a $4000 dress and then just sends it over to her the way you or I would send one another an email. On the note she writes something about never taking no for an answer, which leads me to wonder if she's her husband's partner in all things, including the demonic stuff. So far, she hasn't cast any spells or brokered any "deals", so I'm still fuzzy as to what exactly her role is.
And what's with her husband and his lusty-ish visions about the young blond protagonist? I'm sorry, but when you're married to a Vanessa Williams character, you don't fantasize about a Rachael Taylor character...no offense.
|Samantha Logan as|
This young lady's is also featured on the show, and her characterization also raises quite a few questions. There's not much known about her yet (again...just the pilot), but in her mere moments on the show she became instantly more fascinating than Revenge's Ashley Davenport.
Nona is 14; I thought she was older at first, but she really is only 14. She grew up in the Drake and has somehow managed to survive all its...quirks. Even more interesting, Nona is a blossoming psychic, which means she may know a whole lot more about the building than we think, or she's about a to know.
Either way, she has my attention.
The pilot ended on a cliffy; Nona is holding various heirlooms (or something) and she gets a vision about the protagonist being in danger, running for her life in that $4000 dress (seriously, I couldn't stop bitching about the price of that dress). So the second episode should be interesting.
As with Franklin & Bash, we have a show with two regularly starring Black women. One is mature and seasoned, the other young and innocent, so that automatically makes for an interesting dynamic. One is possibly evil, while the other is hopefully good. Both are light-skinned (as is Ashley Davenport)...*sigh*...but at least on Franklin & Bash, we've got some (slightly) darker sisters.
The big question is, with a limited number of main cast members, can the show stretch this concept out over many episodes or seasons? Will we see other residents of the Drake involved in deals-with-the-devil as well?
And for that matter, is Gavin the devil or just a middle man? What is Olivia's role in all of this? (Called it! Knew it wasn't just me!) What's the deal with Nona, who lurks around the complex and certainly seems to know something about the supernatural? And when will Jane learn the truth?