Feminist, Fictionista, Foodie, Francophile

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Nitpicking 666 Park Avenue

I really wanted to like this series; I really, really did. I loved the idea that it was a Faustian sort of show with touches of Stephen King's Needful Things. And there are some things about it that the writers and producers got right. That elevator scene with the photographer, for example. It was unexpected and really effective. There were also a couple of cool moments when things showed up in the dark, out of the field of vision of the characters, one of which was a really good things that go bump in the night" bit.
Terry O'Quinn is terrifically reptilian as the master of ceremonies in the dark circus that is the building (the Drake Apartments), and Vanessa Williams is just stunning. The show is filled with young women we know are beautiful, but they all seem to be cookie cutter types, pretty enough but not memorable, either as faces or as actresses.  (The young men are pretty bland as well and O'Quinn just acts them all off the screen. I'd love to see him and Bryan Cranston in an acting face-off.)
I love the dragon mosaic in the basement of the building. (Just in case we don't know, we're told that the word "Drake" is another word for "Dragon" but no one mentions its biblical symbolism, which is surprising because this is NOT a subtle show.)
I can tell you the exact moment that the show lost me and that was when the pretty blonde resident manager runs into the lovely Samantha Logan, playing a sort of psychic gypsy type, and the character and she complains about a washer in the laundry room being on the fritz.
Okay--to review--the building at 666 Park Avenue is a luxurious old building from the Twenties with a doorman and a concierge/bellman and the apartments don't have their own laundry facilities?  Really?
Then later, our plucky new resident manager decides she's going to do some research about the building at the public library, apparently never having heard of Google. (And the library's really old special collection turns out to have a whole lot of stuff about the building out in the general stacks. I've worked in libraries--that sort of thing would be kept under lock and key.
I wouldn't quibble if the show had engaged me but it just didn't. There's a moment t hat seems to have been lifted from The Devil's Advocate (and other movies I can't recall).
I think, if I had to put my hand on one thing that's not working, it's that the writers aren't giving their viewers enough credit. Every throwaway line is UNDERLINED, as if the audience won't get the innuendo.
I'm so disappointed. I don't watch a lot of television, but I had high hopes for this show. 

4 comments:

  1. I’m glad that you at least like O’Quinn and Williams; they really fit their roles well for a soapy supernatural show like this. I have quite a few friends that work with me at DISH hoping that the show straightens out in time to secure a couple of seasons. I wouldn’t have even noticed the show, if I hadn’t picked up a Hopper DVR. It has a feature called PrimeTime Anytime that auto auto-records the big 4 channels during their PrimeTime Hours. I’ve been able to discover new shows like 666, while not having to worry about setting timers for my returning shows. Now we just have to hope that 666 can pick up strong supporting casts members.

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  2. We have two friends who live in New York in very $$ apartments. Neither has their own laundry facilities. Those old buildings just don't have the space, or plumbing or something. One of these apartments is on the upper west side on the Hudson River and no laundry. The other is across from the Brooklyn Museum with a view of Manhattan. And they all trudge down to the basement. I guess I can skip this one.

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    1. I have friends who say it got better in the second episode and you can see all three hours so far on Hulu. I get impatient, though.

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  3. @Wade--the show definitely has potential. I just don't want to get hooked in the way I did with GRIMM and end the season wanting a whole lot more.
    @Patti. Ah, I didn't know that about laundry rooms so I was going off without knowing what I was talking about.

    That sounds like a handy gadget. I watch most televsion shows on Hulu.

    The truth is, I wouldn't have quibbled if I'd been more engaged.

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