If you’re craving a soap, ‘Revenge’ trumps ‘Downton Abbey’

I love Emily Thorne, the protagonist of “Revenge.”


Thorne is unlike any female protagonist I’ve seen on TV or film. First of all, she is independently wealthy. Viewers learn of her financial status on the first episode when her friend is planning a benefit. Thorne casually says “Count me in” for a $10,000 ticket.

My mouth dropped open when I heard that line. A young, smart, beautiful, strong female who is also rich? That doesn’t happen. It’s way to much power to give a girl.

If you don’t believe me, check out the Forbes 15. Every year, Forbes does a survey on the 15 richest imaginary characters, including Scrooge McDuck, Richie Rich, Smaug (dragon from Tolkein) Bruce Wayne (Batman), Mr. Monopoly, Carlisle Cullen (Twilight saga), C. Montgomery Burns (Simpsons). At most, 2 females make the list, in 2012 Lisbeth Salander (Girl With Dragon Tatoo) and Jo Bennett. Women are rarely permitted to control billions, in the imaginary world or the real one.

But Emily Thorne isn’t just rich. She is super smart. Every time I watch someone try to get the better of her, I have total confidence she’ll outsmart him. If it doesn’t come down to  a battle of wits, Thorne can kick some serious ass. She’s a black belt in karate and this woman has no fear. She is driven and focused in every way. I feel a unique combination of calmness and excitement watching Thorne get into trouble that I’ve only felt before watching superheroes or James Bond: it’s fun to watch the action, how she pulls it all off, but you know she’ll be OK.

While “Downton Abbey” does a great job depicting how much it sucks to be a woman in 1900s upper class British society, “Revenge” shows women breaking through the limits imposed on them. I quit watching Downton because though the acting is good, it’s too prissy for me. “Revenge” doesn’t have Maggie Smith’s acting, but it all takes place in the Hamptons so you still get to gawk at rich people in fancy clothing who spend most of their time at parties.

I’ll be honest and admit that after more than one episode I’ve groaned and said, “I cannot watch this again.” But I always do.

Reel Girl rates “Revenge” ***HH***

5 thoughts on “If you’re craving a soap, ‘Revenge’ trumps ‘Downton Abbey’

  1. This sounds good, we’ll check it out! Thanks for the tip!

    Have you watched “Covert Affairs?” It’s my latest favorite (actually, I’m also hooked on Netflix seasons of “Crossing Jordan” – a show about a tough, very smart medical examiner who is good at solving crimes), featuring an incredibly smart, capable, undercover CIA agent. I love that she gets to do rescuing as well as being rescued, and that she’s portrayed as being smarter – and better at fast driving (not to mention self-defense) than many, if not most, of the men on the show. Her direct supervisor is also female, and also a very strong character.

  2. Nice post. My brother turned me on to watching this show. I think he started getting into it because the woman are strong, to that point that the women on the show were slapping other people. (I think this was done by the character of Emily’s mother.)

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