It’s been a while since I’ve been gushing over a show dangerously close to cancellation. (Yes, I loved Gilmore Girls and Veronica Mars and terribly sad to see them go, but both were weakened in their final seasons.) But catching up with Damages this weekend on FX, it reminded me just how good television can be.
For those who have sadly missed out on one of the best shows on television, Damages revolves around two main stories â€“ one of murder, the other of the pursuit of the head of a company in the aftermath of an Enron-type scandle.
Glenn Close stars as Patty Hewes, a ruthless corporate-malfeasance litigator out to destroy Arthur Frobisher (Ted Danson), who sold his company out from under his employees. Ellen Parsons (Rose Byrne), fresh out of law school, comes to work on the case against Frobisher, yet we only find that out after she’s been taken into custody for the murder of her fiancÃ©. The entire show is told simultaneously in flashbacks and real time, using a colour wash to keep the audience from confusion. (There’s a fantastic moment in the penultimate episode where there colour wash transitions to normal color, signaling the moment where we have finally caught up, that we know as much of the secrets in the past that we possibly can, and we’re all on the same page now.)
The acting is top-notch, and Damages is one of the best-plotted shows that I’ve seen in a long time. Plus, it treats the viewers as intelligent, which is a rarity these days. For fans of the aforementioned Veronica Mars, it brings back the thrill of unraveling the first season. Each revelation makes you think, makes you wonder and even when the show turns a lot of your assumptions on their ear, you never feel cheated.
I was a fan of The Closer from the very first episode and I fully admit to having a “but I loved it before you!” attitude towards latecomers. But I’m willing to put that on the backburner because the Jenny-come-latelys have come in such numbers that I will have The Closer on my television for seasons to come. I want more of Damages. I desperately want more of Damages. Patty and Ellen are such compelling confidants and adversaries that it’s hard to imagine not having them around longer. So please, don’t be too late for this brilliant show. Tonight may be the finale, but I beckon all you latecomers to Damages, and promise it will be just as good as I’ve gushed.
Damages airs Tuesdays at 10pm on FX.
Making a Plea for Damages [LA Times]