Damages, Season II

Although you probably shouldn’t take your reviews from someone who watches very little TV, the first season of Damages was absolutely, positively the best show to ever air on television. Besides being a thrilling show to watch, it was brilliantly produced. One of the lead character’s mottos was “Trust no one,” which can easily be adapted to what should be the show’s motto: Trust nothing.

Season 2 finished this week. From the very first episode I was uneasy. While the first season left lots of loose ends, it was a hard act to follow. A second season was bound to be like Mona Lisa II: even if it were done with the utmost of skill, it’s following something that’s difficult to top. And that’s mostly how I still feel about Season 2: a great TV series, but really not on par with the first.

But I disliked Season II for some other reasons. For one, it was a largely different cast of characters, and it took me a long time to figure out who was who. And I really didn’t care for Ellen in the second season: perhaps she was just burned out from all that happened in the first season, but I found her personality thoroughly unlikeable.

While Season 1 had a thrilling aspect where the characters you liked suddenly turned out to be evil and vice versa, Season II sometimes took this to ridiculous extremes. It almost became predictable: if you liked a character, they were bound to be bad, and if you disliked a character, they were bound to be good. The show’s affinity for playing with time by abruptly shifting to “5 Months Later” or “3 Months Earlier” also grew tiresome at times, too. Since very early on in the second season, every episode would feature a flash-forward to a scene that was explained in the final 15 minutes of the season. I won’t give anything away, other than to say that I found what actually transpired to be lame and implausible. I’d use that same expression to describe a few other events that occurred.

Overall, I’d give the show a solid “B.” It’s still a great show, but Season 1 was a tough act to follow, and I had a persistent feeling that Season 2 wasn’t up to those standards. If you haven’t seen Season 1, don’t watch Season 2: the show should really be experienced in chronological order. To the question of whether Season 1 fans should watch Season 2, my conclusion is “Meh.” It’s not a bad show, and it has great parts, but it won’t live up the standards that Season 1 set.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *