Tuesday, July 12, 2011

What to Watch Out For: Damages, Season 4 Premiere July 13, 2011

Missed this in last friday's spotlight, but after a long hiatus, the critically acclaimed legal thriller "Damages" starring Glenn Close and Rose Byrne returns to television this week. The first season of this show was one of the best things to happen to TV, showcasing the darkest depths of the lawyer's profession, and weaving a convincing plot about what one is willing to do to achieve one's goals. The later seasons waned in quality, in part because of an over-reliance on a now-cumbersome "flashback" gimmick, and ratings slipped so much that this original TNT drama was facing cancellation in 2010. DirecTV came in with a last-minute save though.

Damages tells the story of recent law-graduate Ellen Parsons (played by Rose Byrnes - she seems to be in everything nowadays) and her ruthless, cut-throat mentor Patty Hewes (Glenn Close), an attorney infamous for getting her way no matter the cost. The first season succeeded in part because it was a fascinating to watch Ellen follow in Patty's footsteps, transforming from a idealistic law student into a frightening "whatever-it-takes" kind of attorney herself. Seasons 2 and 3 retain the strong character portrayals and development, but unfortunately weren't able to capture the same feel of a tightly-knit plot.

Season Four will feature a reduced episode count (10, compared to the 13 episodes from the first three seasons). Hopefully this will help keep the writers on a tight budget, and reduce the amount of filler scenes. The central plot involves private military contractors in Afghanistan. Check out a trailer below, and tune in to DirecTV on Wednesday, July 13, 2011 for the season premiere.

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