666 Park Avenue

Pilot: This is ABC's latest offering trying to emulate the success of "American Horror Story" after the failure of "The River" last season. "666 Park Avenue" is a soapy crossover between "Rosemary's Baby", "Doctor Faustus" and "Desperate Housewife". Firstly, almost a perfect cast. Terry O'Quin and Vanessa Williams are perfect as the Mephistophelean Gavin and his partner Olivia, Dave Annable has the solid, dependable guy down pat, but it is Rachel Taylor as the main protagonist that is a bit of a mystery. So far she is more annoying than convincing. Secondly, there are some good scares: 2 to be precise, and one "OMG, OMG, OMG!!" moment. But sadly, they did not push it further which would have been what a cable network would had done. Pity. The music was generic horror/scary and looks like Alexander McQueen is a sponsor of the show. Again, another problem with this and most of the new series this season is that I cannot see them sustaining a 20-plus episode order. Much less more than one season. The concept of this may make a good movie (although run of the mill) or a better mini-series. WIll just have to stay tune, but at least there's Terry and Vanessa!

Episode 2, "Murmurations": This episode is brought to you with shades of "The Birds" and "Shining". Overall, it's getting boring. Tertiary characters that are not that interesting. Hot writer with hot photographer wife with hot assistant who may or may not be psychotic/supernatural ("American Horror Story did it better with The Maid"). They need to clearly define why Jane is "special" to The Drake; also, what is the role of Vanessa William's character? Or even Nona...It gotta pick up the pace. Let's see what November Sweeps brings and whether this show is worth committing to for a whole season.

Episode 3, "The Dead Don't Stay Dead": This show is weird. Scary but not scary enough; campy but not campy enough. I am really intrigued with what is the deal with Gavin's and Olivia's relationship in the show. Perhaps, it is time to show a bit more, rather than plodding through slowly. Who is their daughter Sasha? The resident-in-trouble plot was boring and predictable and cliche. As was the whole Bryan sub-plot. More interestingly is Jane's visions. They got to have some payback soon! And, what's so special about Henry that has Gavin so interested in him?

Episode 4, "Hero Complex": Trust Whedon's alumni Elizabeth Craft & Sarah Fain to deliver the best episode thus far. Character development with minimal mumbo-jumbo magic. Rachel Taylor is easing into her role, but the hour belongs to David Annable's Henry. Although, again, why is he "special"? At least the writers managed to ask the questions that the audience has been thinking about. Unfortunately, Gavin's reply is just as cryptic. Smokey is back! Now, Nona is getting interesting.

Episode 5, "A Crowd of Demons": A Halloween episode in this show is kind of redundant, but at least it introduced us to Gavin's antagonist! Finally, some conflict for him! But what is the point of abducting Olivia? A red herring? And this whole smokey man from the luggage thingy is such a sell-out. What's the point? The birds love Jane? And also, the whole Louise/Bryan subplot...gagh!

Episode 6, "Diabolic": Strongest episode to date. This show has finally gotten interesting with a development of an overarching plot to replace the tenant-of-the-week stories. Losing the other boring storyline of the playwright, photographer and assistant was also a good move. The producers really got to define Gavin's power. Not necessarily his character - the ambiguity here is actually good - but what he can or cannot do. Which then bring us to Victor Shaw, the new man in his life. Is he good? Bad? Supernatural or human? WHAT IS IN THAT BOX??!? (so much better than "Revolution"'s mystery of "Why is there no electricity?"). Olivia and Gavin continues to be the most interesting couple, and I am actually curious to find out more about Olivia (with Vanessa William's Botox fading, her acting as improved). The new additions of Detective Cooper (?Mulder) and PR Laurel will perhaps give Rachel and Henry more to do. In particular, there is a definite chemistry between Cooper and Rachel. Lastly, good to see Rachel has finally admitted out loud her abilities and attached the dots regarding her relationship to The Drake.

Episode 7, "Downward Spiral": I hope the producers at least get to tell finish the story. I am intrigued by the ending. By Olivia's and Gavin's relationship. Who is Victor Shaw? Are Nona and family the good guys? Or is Gavin indirectly manipulating the grandmother to keep Jane here? There is so much potential for twists, turns and double-crossings. The weakest link is the annoying Louise-Robert-Alexis triangle.

Note: ABC has cancelled this series. I thought it had finally found its footing, but let's hope they can finish up the story at least. As a series, it will be hard to keep this going and keep it fresh every season, unless they can come up with an excellent reason for Gavin's character.


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