With its looming Hamptons mansions, snippy garden parties, backstabbing, intrigue, hot women, even hotter men, and of course, Madeleine Stowe’s marvelously over-the-top Victoria Grayson, Revenge may well be the campiest prime-time soap to hit the networks since the golden age of Dynasty and Dallas. Except Alexis Carrington and J.R. Ewing never had to contend with the highly trained martial arts expert Emily Thorne, a woman bent on revenge a la The Count of Monte Cristo.
Former Brothers & Sisters darling Emily Van Camp embodies Thorne with a cool opacity that keeps the audience and her on-screen nemeses (there are many) guessing as to what her motives truly are. It’s worth tuning in to watch Emily face off with her former mother-in-law Victoria. While they’ve never fully taken to the lily pond Alexis and Krystle Carrington style, all of their interactions are laced with utter disdain and bitchiness.
If these two titans aren’t enough for Revenge to be lure LGBT viewers, there’s always Emily’s tech genius confidante and best friend Nolan Ross (Gabriel Mann), who is one of very few bisexual male characters on television (Kevin Spacey’s Frank Underwood on House of Cards is one that comes to mind). Over the course of Revenge’s three seasons Nolan has engaged in meaningful relationships with men and women. And the powers that be at ABC have not shied away from depicting sexual relationships with either sex. However, it is Revenge, so no relationship makes it out alive.
Lesbian fans would still love for Revenge to throw a real bone, but in the meantime, a triumphant smirk from a wonderfully vicious Victoria Grayson will suffice. — Tracy E. Gilchrist