My Weekly Revenge

Posted on: January 20th, 2012 by Joni No Comments

Is Revenge contagious?

I’m pretty sure “Revenge” is contagious because the vast majority of those who have been exposed to the new ABC show are hooked. But the concept itself? Maybe not so much contagious as apt to spark delicious daydreams.

So far, I haven’t been able to imagine any vengeful plans nearly as flawless and devious as Emily Thorn’s. But she has great writers, not to mention a small detail called fiction to  make certain her plans come off flawlessly.

If it were as easy as Emily makes it look, on whom would I take my own revenge? Even more importantly, how to best retaliate?

No question, on the boy (now grown) who mercilessly made fun of one of my kids when they were in 3rd or 4th grade. Until now, I’d only been able to stare at him from afar and wish bad things upon him. But What Would Emily Do? Most likely find a way to out him publicly — perhaps with an embarrassing video at a sports bar  where he’s drinking.

I can’t help but wish I could turn the screws to just two horrible — out of dozens of dreamy — bosses, both long-ago and briefly in that position, but nasty enough to inspire venom. I’d add to that list two more recent bosses, not mine, but able to wreck plenty of havoc to the lives of loved ones. Emily is avenging her dad, after all, so I’m allowed to right wrongs to loved ones. How to best get back at them? Emily’s advice would likely be to put them in the position of those they bullied, with some tragic twist.

What about the bigger picture? Revenge against terrorists? Too serious, but yes. Revenge against most of Congress? Ah, I’d love the Revenge writers to come up with something filled with just the right dash of poetic justice. A sequel to the show would be necessary for this category.

Many would suggest Revenge upon mothers-in-law … but now that I know so many friends who fall into that category, I’m learning a little compassion.

Bankers? Egomaniacs? Teachers who are just plain mean? Cashiers who chat with coworkers and ignore customers? The young man or woman who carelessly broke your child’s heart?

Who’s on your list? Something to contemplate during the too-long  hiatuses (hiati?) of “Revenge.”

Perhaps it could be a new game show: Who Wants to Get Revenge? If you come up with a great recipient and a dastardly plot, you’d make the cut and get on the show. An emcee briefly recaps what the culprit did to you and we get to observe the comeuppance, Candid-Camera style. This is an idea whose time has come — therapy for an entire nation. This decade’s answer to Funniest Home Videos.

It’s no coincidence the only new show to pull in such big numbers of viewers is about the fantasy of getting back at people who have hurt you. This show isn’t just filled with wonderfully wicked characters, and perfectly concocted and executed schemes,  it hits the currently-universal theme that life’s unfair and we need to do something to fight back.

But the best part of Revenge — perhaps its saving grace, the details that makes it better than just nonstop payback — are the boy and the puppy. Well, the man and the dog. Jack and Sammy. They make Emily human, something more than the robotic witch she might have been. She was hurt deeply.

The show, too, has found more depth each week. Though it began knocking out targets with gleeful precision and pace, the complications have begun and they are mind-boggling. Just what we all need to keep our minds off reality.

It’s odd, really, that just as actual reality in the U.S. became so stark, the genre of “reality” shows took off. What we need instead is more Revenge-like escapism. Sort of a throwback to the excessive 80s with “Dallas” and “Dynasty,” “Revenge” is indicative of its decade. While I got a kick out of Krystle and Alexis, I’m reveling in Emily Thorn.

So sue me. But don’t try to get me back, because I’ve watched every show and I’m learning.



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