10.01.2012

Black Girls' Night Out: Doran and Clark

Vanessa Williams as "Olivia Doran"
This was almost entitled Black Girls' Night Out: Doran and Davenport because I thought about also keeping tabs on Ashley Davenport (Ashley Madekwe) who - and I use this term loosely - "stars" on ABC's RevengeRevenge airs right before 666 Park Avenue, but since I've been barely able to sit through the first season (the second season premiered last night), I figured it was a waste of time.  I can't really buckle down and watch Revenge, but 666 Park Avenue has my attention.

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
"Nona Clark"
Then there's Nona Clark (Samantha Logan).

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.

From CNN:
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?

16 comments:

  1. Hmmm. I know longevity is the name of the game, often to a series' detriment, but I sense that this show would be better served with a two season run. Three tops. It's rare that a series can run for close to a decade without getting stale/jumping sharks.

    It's like some of the manga series made by Rumiko Takahashi - as much as I like them, I wish their run was a LOT shorter. Inu Yasha went on for 12 years (12 years! WTF?!). Not sure if today's audience has the attention span for something that drawn out.

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    1. Also - a $4,000 USD dress?! BLERDNAUGHT! Does that thing screen for and cure cancer?!

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    2. Ok...I am way behind on TV shows on the regular channels. Didn't know Vanessa was staring in another show.

      "And for that matter, is Gavin the devil or just a middle man?"

      I used to watch a show back in the early 90's called American Gothic, which I loved. Lucas Buck was the town's Sheriff, but you didn't quite know if he was the devil or the middle man.

      I wonder if this new show is reminiscence of the American Gothic tv show.

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    3. OMG!!!!! I watched American Gothic and I own the DVD series. And yes I was thinking back to American Gothic also.

      I lived for Lucas Buck. He was my patronus.

      It does remind me of American Gothic. What's interesting is that in the commentary for American Gothic, even the producers were arguing over whether or not Lucas Buck was the devil or a powerful demon. Even they couldn't make up their minds.

      Vanessa Williams was on Desperate Housewives but their final season was last year.

      Delete
    4. "I watched American Gothic and I own the DVD series."

      I only have several television shows that were a must have for me on DVD. American Gothic, The Pretender, and all of Highlander.

      Delete
  2. Hey Ank...I didn't know if I should put this in Bitchfest but Shonda Rhimes just sold Issa Rays "I hate LA Dudes" to ABC.

    http://www.deadline.com/2012/10/shonda-rhimes-company-sells-talk-show-dramedy-first-comedy-project-to-abc/

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  3. REVENGE just started Season 2, not season 3.

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  4. I actually love Revenge and I love the storyline. Now I'll be the first to say they could beef up Ashley's role, A LOT, but as far as shows go, I can't really hate on this one too much, personally.

    I downloaded 666 Park Avenue and I mainly watched for her goddess, Vanessa Williams and Robert Buckley adorkable ass.

    I don't see this show lasting sadly. It's not bad but there was nothing really gripping or wanting me to come back to keep watching. I'm going to continue to do so because, again Vanessa Williams, but I'm hoping I'm wrong.

    " I'm sorry, but when you're married to a Vanessa Williams character, you don't fantasize about a Rachael Taylor character...no offense."

    I'm assuming that was part of the supernatural fantasy (and ergo unrealistic) elements of the show. Because in reality, you don't pass up perfection herself.

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    1. I liked it a lot too...but then I kept watching.

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  5. Wouldn't it be SUPERBLY AWESOME if the great and fabulous Queen Pimpness Vanessa was the devil???

    I'd watch the shit out of 666PA if this was the case. But I'll sit back and wait for the commentary. TV makes me nervous.

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    Replies
    1. "Queen Pimpness Vanessa was the devil???"

      Now that would be a tv series I would watch. But then we will get those white fans mad about, "Why is she the devil?" "I don't like Vanessa because she's black but because she wears pricey dresses." Or the favorite "I'm not racist but..."

      They will always find a problem. Plus the Devil will be the star of the show, Vanessa won't be dying anytime soon. You know you can't have that.

      Delete
    2. You're killing me, boo. Killing me.

      Besides, previews from the next episode have shot that theory to hell.

      Delete

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