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Television: The end of Damages

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Wikipedia quote: "Damages has received critical acclaim and numerous television awards, including a Golden Globe and three Emmy Awards for its first season. The show is noted for its nonlinear narrative, frequent use of plot twists, technical merit, season-long storylines and the acting ability of its cast."

The first season of Damages really impressed me. It had excellent performances from a great cast (especially the central pair of Glenn Close and Rose Byrne), lots of twists and turns and used flashforwards well to show bad things that were going to happen to the cast, and right up until they occurred left you guessing how the characters would end up in those situations. Season two didn’t use the flashforward idea quite so well, often showing things happening that turned out to be false, and it was generally an unsatisfying season overall, despite the presence of several cast members of The Wire (which has earned its place as one of the best shows of all time).

Spoilers follow

Season three, now the final season, was better than season two but not quite as good as the first. The Tobin family were good villains, with it originally looking like the sole bad guy was head of the family, Louis, but as the season progressed each Tobin turned out to be just as cold and selfish as the others, destroying lives to serve their own interests. Season three used some of the same cheap tricks in the flashforwards as season two (at one point implying one character would commit suicide by linking two scenes that turned out to be completely unrelated) but generally it was very good.

By the end season three had resolved a lot of the hanging threads from season one and gave us an episode that serves as a strong conclusion for the series as a whole (unless it gets revived in a rumoured deal with DirecTV, but at this point I don’t think that’s likely). That level of resolution, ending with a frank conversation between Ellen and Patty, makes it clear that the writers knew the end was coming and it’s enough of a conclusion that there’s not much left hanging that requires a fourth season to cover. So despite the low ratings everybody involved in Damages can at least take solace in the fact that the show ended on a high note.

Categories: Opinions (TV), TV Tags: , ,
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  1. July 20, 2010 at 17:02

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