Television shows are interesting. Some series start off with slow or mediocre beginnings, only to reach their full potential in later in their run for the patient viewers that continue to watch. Meanwhile, other shows bust right out of the gate with fantastic first seasons that tell about three seasons worth of story in only 22 episodes.If we look at ABC’s Revenge, which is currently in its fourth season, it definitely falls into the latter category. While its subsequent seasons have been solid, Revenge Season 1 was what got viewers hooked on this sometimes thrilling and sometimes completely outrageous primetime soap opera and let fans know that this series was going to be filled with fast-paced, over-the-top storylines throughout its entire run. Simply put, Revenge Season 1 set us up for a great show, and aside from some mild meandering in the series’ second and third seasons, that’s exactly what Revenge has been.So how did Revenge Season 1 set us up for the great series that the show has been throughout its three-plus seasons? It did three very important things: gave us an interesting main character with a compelling storyline, provided a unique setting that helped set the tone of the series, and solidified strong character dynamics and relationships early on.Without Emily Thorne and her quest for vengeance on the Graysons and the others who wronged her father and tore her family apart, Revenge simply would not work. Series star Emily VanCamp has always providedÂ the perfect balance of devilish fun and honest emotion in her role as Emily, especially during Revenge Season 1, when she was required to be earnest and vulnerable in scenes with Nick Weschler’s Jack in one scene and then cold and calculating, crossing wrongdoers off with her red Sharpie, in the next one. We rooted for Emily because underneath her stone-faced exterior remained the young, frightened Amanda Clarke who just missed her father.While Revenge would certainly collapse without the presence of Emily, another essential element to the series is its setting: summertime in the Hamptons. Similar to the earlier seasons ofÂ The O.C., Revenge Season 1, and its subsequent seasons, haveÂ utilized its location, which is populated with countless wealthy and corrupt individuals who always have hidden secrets that quickly become uncovered, allowing for RevengeÂ to embrace its soap opera roots. Also, the seriesÂ further uses its Hamptons setting to itsÂ advantage and has some type of party or social function be the centerpiece of almost every episode. By doing this, Revenge allows for most, if not all, of its characters to be in the same place at once, resulting in more drama for them and more fun for us. Its first season established that very successful template.Finally, Revenge Season 1 did a remarkably good job at creating and solidifying interesting and compelling relationships between its characters. Within only the show’s first few episodes, viewers became invested in not only Emily’s revenge war against Victoria and the Graysons but also her brother-sister-like connection with Nolan, her past history and possible future romance with Jack, and Nolan and Jack’s budding friendship. Quickly and easily, we came to care about these characters and knew that we would follow them through the most ridiculous of situations (which Revenge‘s most recent seasons have definitely put them in).Ultimately, it’s hard to top a season of television like Revenge Season 1, although we’re hopeful that the show’s current fourth season may be able to. It’s easily of the best first seasons of any series to air on network TV in recent years and provides the first great chapter in what has been quite a wild and fun show.Photos via ABC Facebook Prev Article Next Article About The Author Chris More from this Author A graduate of Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, where he majored in English and Film, Chris has been writing for TVOvermind for over four years and has written about several different television shows, such as New Girl, Breaking Bad, Glee, and Homeland. Contact him through Twitter (@ckinger13) or email ([email protected]).
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