I was listening to some Edgar Allan Poe short stories on Amazon Audible during the train ride home this evening and “The Cask of Amontillado” was one of them. It coldness of Montresor’s revenge on Fortunato is truly amazing. It’s probably one of the coldest revenge plots in history. It reminded me of a TV show I used to watch about the concept. That brings me to this week’s moment in the Flashback Friday series: the Revenge TV series.
How I first came across this moment? I first came across the series on my flight from Los Angeles to Tokyo on September 2, 2011. American Airlines had made the pilot episode available as part of the in-flight entertainment as a special sneak preview. It was a long flight across the Pacific so I watched.
What it meant to me then? After watching “Pilot”, I was hooked. I remember writing in the September 3, 2011 entry of Triumphs & Tribulations XI that I felt the same kind of rage that Emily Van Camp’s Emily Thorne/Amanda Clarke character felt. I liked how she made note of Hamlet, Medea, Captain Ahab, and Charles Bronson—collectively, the icons of vengeance—and how satisfaction for the truly wronged was only offered through “absolute forgiveness or mortal vindication”. For what had happened to me in June 2011 and what I labored through in July and August, I felt that in my soul. When I got back to the United States in October, the show became the highlight of my Wednesday evenings. I loved the elaborate revenge schemes that Emily (and Nolan) came up with. I loved Ashley Madekwe’s accent…and the way she walked in heels. At that particular time in my life, Revenge was the type of show that just appealed to my sensibilities.
What it means to me now? I watched the series up until halfway through the 2nd season. The storyline started getting really weird and stuff—Madeleine Stowe’s character surviving that plane crash, the whole faux Amanda-Jack Porter marriage, Mason Treadwell becoming an ally, Nolan’s girlfriend being an operative for The Initiative. It was too cheesy and didn’t really make any sense. That whole 1st season of Revenge: it was golden. When I think of it, I often think about the embarrassing moments of Emily’s victims and how her money stretched very long in the quest for vengeance. It was a great show for as long as I watched it but I can only imagine what happened with the storyline after I stopped watching.