Wednesday, 7 September 2011

'Revenge': Kindle Pilot Script Review

Confession time: I'm a bibliophile, but I own a Kindle. And it's awesome. I could go on about why it's awesome, but that's not the point here. Let's just say that for an indecisive over-packer like myself, a whole new world has opened up for me when I go places where I'm not sure which book I might want at a given moment. Awesome. Moving on.

As a promotion for their new show 'Revenge' (debuting Wed., Sept. 21), ABC has offered the script for the pilot for free on Amazon Kindle. I find this advertising tool intriguing. It says at least two things: (1) The marketing folks at ABC are trying to do something new and different from their competitors; and (2) They sure do think highly of the writing for their new show.

Well, I really like reading screenplays, teleplays, plays, what have you, so I downloaded the freebie and read through it before bed last night. It's soapy, a bit dated, and trying to do too much too early with the main character. The opening voice over is also pretty freshman comp (it opens with our protagonist Emily Thorne giving us the dictionary definition of "revenge". Oy). But it was mostly a fun, inoffensive read, and the writer (creator Mike Kelley, who also had writing credits on The O.C. and One Tree Hill, to give you an idea of the style) does a nice job creating the kind of ambiance that could make the show stand out (a network show hasn't been this "beachy" since Dawson's Creek).

The series is very loosely based on Alexandre Dumas' The Count of Monte Cristo, so if you've read the novel you can understand how updating it and putting it in the Hamptons could become a soap opera -- not that that's a bad thing. It opens with a Labor Day engagement party for our revenger herself and Daniel Grayson, the Ivy League boy next door, at his family's home. But Daniel is no where to be found...until he shows up dead on the beach. (Dun-dun-dun!) The rest of the story is told in flashback, beginning with Emily's move next door to the Graysons at the beginning of the summer. The rest of the pilot chips away at Emily's revenge plot (motives, modus operandi, targets, etc.), and in keeping with every great evening soap where rich people are involved, there are plenty of fancy parties, backstabbing, and class envy, so buckle up.

The bottom line is that the script piqued my interest enough that I will be tuning in on September 21 to see how well it's executed. (ABC, by the way, offers a viewing of the pilot for free on their website, but I'm going to wait for the premiere because I like the buildup to new shows.) In other words, well done, ABC marketing.

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