Damages (Sony, 2007) creators: Todd A. Kessler, Glenn Kessler, Daniel Zelman, w/ Glenn Close, Rose Byrne. Rating: NNNN; DVD package: NNN
I’ve always thought that Wall Street suffered from too much redemption and not enough Gordon Gekko. Damages doesn’t have that flaw. In its world of big-money class-action litigation, everyone’s a shark and moral rectitude dies fast.
Fresh-out-of-law-school Ellen Parsons (Rose Byrne) gets hired by übershark Patty Hewes (Glenn Close), who’s determined to nail swindling CEO Arthur Frobisher (Ted Danson) for hundreds of millions. He’s well defended by hardcore hardballer Ray Fiske (Zeljko Ivanek). There’s abduction, murder and betrayal at every turn.
As Hewes, Close pumps out nine different kinds of cunning and an emotional range that goes from mild-mannered mentoring through towering rage to total meltdown. Danson and Ivanek match her intensity. Byrne holds her own nicely once her character wises up and starts her own scheming, and it’s obvious the whole cast is having a ball.
The story is tight, twisty and as much character- as plot-driven. Creators Glenn Kessler, Todd A. Kessler and Daniel Zelman offer surprising plot turns and a brisk pace in these 13 one-hour episodes, yet still take time to let the confrontations and negotiations play out in full.
Sure, you can see Damages on TV Mondays at 10 pm on Showcase, but the extras here are worth looking at. The writers and actors devote most of their time to discussing character and series construction, a nice change from the usual production stories.
Extras Two episodes with creators and actor commentary, two making-of and class action lawsuits docs, deleted scenes. Widescreen. English, French subtitles.