Four Great TV Shows I Almost Ignored

4.) Revenge

Like Once Upon A Time, I wasn’t too keen on watching this show when it first came out. I was already traumatized after watching several seasons of Gossip Girl and 90210. I swore to myself that I would never watch another television show where teens and young adults engage in unnecessary backstabbing and do stupid stuff for trivial problems. I’ve seen Emily VanCamp in other TV shows and she usually plays the role of an innocent young girl, so I wasn’t sure if she couldn’t deliver a strong, feisty and independent character.

I was wrong. The show became a massive hit here in the US and overseas as well. So, what was I to do? Well, Netflix once again comes to my aid and luckily Revenge was available in their selection. After one episode, I was hooked and I was anxious to know what happens next. Revenge is a story about a young woman with a vendetta against Hampton’s elite. She seeks to avenge her wronged father who was betrayed by their supposed  circle of elite friends. Interestingly, the story is a loose adaptation of Alexandre Dumas’ novel The Count of Monter Cristo. VanCamp effectively portrays a woman who will go at any length to avenge her late father’s death. I love how she can fool not only the characters, but also the audiences to think she is an innocent, vulnerable and elegant young woman. Yet, in a heartbeat, she can turn into the fiery femme fatale when the time calls for it. One aspect that reinforces her dominance as a femme fatale character are the scenes where we see VanCamp snap a neck or two in a beautiful dress, then look absolutely calm and elegant afterwards.

Revenge is also gifted with the talents of Madeline Stowe and Gabriel Mann. Stowe plays VanCamp’s main target in her roadmap to revenge, while Mann takes on the role of her supportive yet concerned ally. In addition to VanCamp, Stowe and Mann both create compelling characters that could easily cement spots as one of television’s most memorable characters. It’s hard not to root for the anti-heroine when we fully know that she’s out for blood. Revenge is wrong, but VanCamp makes us feel that it is the appropriate form of justice as we see the trials she had to endure to be the strong and independent woman she is now. I think I might even say that this is more satisfying than watching Arrow on the CW. Oliver Queen is no match for Emily Thorne.


You can catch Revenge on ABC as the second season has just begun. If you want to catch up, the first season is available on Netflix.


  • Sean Fast

    “I’m into a very particular sub-genre of science fiction with the likes of Inception, In Time, Gattaca and Blade Runner. I’m not really sure what you call it, let me know if you do.”

    Inception maybe is an outlier, but most of those are “dystopian” scifi. That’s what a lot of people refer to it as. Also, “cerebral” scifi is another term that encapsulates them, as like, the “thinking man’s scifi movie”.

  • trashcanman

    The best term is “conceptual sci fi”, I believe. It focuses on actual concepts and possible realities and is designed to make you think whereas “space operas” and the like are just “x in space”. Anyways, pretty brave listing Spartacus, Mr. Bedlam. I think the sex and especially the profanity becomes extremely comical in it’s over-the-topness (what with featuring a roomful of men chanting “MY COCK RAGES ON” and all), but at the end of the day that is a damn fine show. Almost like a more shameless Game of Thrones.

  • Draugr

    When I saw Once upon a time come up I though, ‘uh okay’ then Spartacus came up and I stopped reading.

  • jaromir

    I seen “Once Upon a Time” then read the comments…Draugr hit the nail.

  • Thanks for defining the genre guys, now I know how to properly look for the comics, movies, and television shows.

    I remember that episode of Spartacus where they sing that. There was one where Gannicus was singing it while he was on the edge of a cliff. Yes, I try not to take the sex and profanity too seriously… I simply take it as tongue and cheek entertainment. Oh, it’s Ms. Bedlam actually… but people just call me Benny.

    Well, these are the television shows that I personally liked. Just thought I’d share my two cents on why I enjoy them.

  • Postal

    Benny, thank you for this. I enjoyed reading it precisely because it suggested something a bit different. I have learned to enjoy a number of new shows, games, etc… because I read about them on this website. I don’t always agree with the author’s conclusions here, but I appreciate suggestions by people who are entertained by some of the same things that I am.

  • Thanks Postal, I appreciate it! I enjoy reading different view points. All of the shows mentioned above took a lot of convincing for me to watch. At first, I didn’t agree but in the end I walked away with new shows that I thoroughly enjoy!

    Which shows from my recommendations are you most willing to give a try?

  • Blake

    I’ll probably try Revenge, but I don’t agree with your statement about Revenge being better than Arrow. When Arrow is just in its 1st season series trial run with only 3 episodes so far. Arrow has taken The Green Arrow mythos and adapted it into a more potentially edgy show.

    Love Spartacus, RIP Andy Whitfield, not for the sex and violence but for the realism and the “us against the world” persona.

    And if anyone would like some recommendations for tv shows to watch, then I would have to highly recommend watching: NBC’s Grimm, Showtime’s Homeland, Starz’s Camelot, and of course “EVERYTHING” on AMC except Small Town Security.

  • I would just like to go on record and say I love Spartacus precisely for the sex and violence.

    Benny, great read! I agree with every single one of your choices. I, too, rolled my eyes at most of these and was pleasantly surprised to find them thoroughly enjoyable. Downton Abbey though, that I knew I’d like.

  • @Sara

    Thanks Sara! Didn’t know you were a fan of Spartacus as well 🙂

    Yeah, I love it when you come in watching a show with neutral expectations and get blown away!

  • Krunk

    If you liked Downton Abbey, you might just enjoy Pride and Prejudice (not the movie). That’s where Colin Firth hit it big, and he’s not even the best actor in that show (although, he’s close to the top).

  • Deepcover

    OMG have you not watched Strike Back? The best show never to be watched EVA and if you have watched the 4 shows mentioned above but have not watched Strike Back you need to get right on to this as it is beyond awesome and has already gone down as the best show in my recent history.

  • Charlie Ward

    I know for a fact that at least two of these shows are. . .not my cup of tea, we’ll say. Makes me nervous about the other two.

    And shut yo’ mouth ’bout Arrow.