Damages: Farewell?

by Andrew Osborne

There are shows that most of the cool kids watch (The Sopranos, The Wire, etc.) and guilty pleasure shows with passionate cult followings, where members of the cult keep telling non-believers, “No, really!  It’s good!” (like Glee, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, True Blood, etc.)…

…and then there are the under-the-radar shows we don’t really proselytize for as much because we see the flaws but keep watching anyway.  And because they’re unsung, we have a more quiet, private relationship, and maybe feel a little protective of them:  the non-watercooler shows, the ones that feel like they belong just to us.

And so it is with me and Damages, the overheated Glenn Close vehicle that tackles one twisty legal case per season, the kind of high stakes soap opera with lots of high-powered back room plotting and heated conversations between well-dressed professionals walking rapidly down halls — or what I call the “guys in suits” genre.

What’s Alan Watching, a blog I enjoy, recently poo-poohed Damages in general and its season (and possibly series) finale in particular, which prompted this post because, really, it’s not one of the “popular” kids like Lost or Mad Men.  It’s just an entertaining potboiler that kept me plenty entertained for two seasons, and I don’t like seeing it picked on.

Or, to paraphrase what I posted at WAW:  

I started watching Damages in Season Two and I hope it comes back for a fourth season [although signs, according to WAW, look grim]. It’s not one of my Top Tier shows, but to me it’s at least as interesting, entertaining and coherent as, say, Lost (but without all the cosmic hoo-hah). It’s a smart, twisty, high class soap opera that knows it’s a little bit ludicrous but plays it straight. Plus: great work by a great cast, chewing some fine scenery, (including an evil Lily Tomlin and a tough guy Martin Short!) — I mean, really, I don’t see why Damages is considered a lesser show [by WAW, at least] than, say, Justified or (egad) The United States of Tara

And a follow-up P.S. —

Re: the above, before somebody jumps on me about it…okay, so maybe it’s not as interesting as Lost. Lost is a whole other animal in terms of interesting. But Damages is [was?] definitely more coherent.

But any rate:  Glenn, Rose, Martin, Ted Danson, et. al — I just wanna say, thanks for a very good (if not “great”) run, and see you (hopefully) next year!


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