Tuned In

Damages Watch: Ding Dongs and Adam's Apples*

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I’m not sure if I have it in me to do a weekly Damages Watch. Not that it’s a bad show–as a thriller, anyway, it’s still doing its job–but it’s not the kind of show that really lends itself to a week-by-week breakdown, because its appeal is all about the plot. Four episodes in, for instance, I don’t feel that Patty Hewes’ character is being developed so much as reiterated. She uses people. We get it. She trusts no one. Roger that.

That said, Patty still amuses me–loved her genuine delight at discovering the wonders of the Ding Dong (“Delicious… tastes like a Ho-Ho”); it rang absolutely true with the behavior of a certain brand of white-collar boss, swooping in periodically to connect with the way the plebes live. I was interested to see the development of the Katie storyline, though it also showed how needlessly hammering Damages’ narrative can be–we didn’t need all those quickie flashbacks to earlier episodes to remember that she’s under extreme stress as a witness. But I liked her transformation from naif to ice-cold witness, only to be betrayed by Gregory and Patty. And any use of Peter Riegert automatically boosts my interest.

Incidentally, bulletin to all TV writers: Enough with the tranny subplots! There are a few of them in the new network pilots this season, and they’ve suddenly become the knee-jerk “surprise” plot twist du jour, which is to say, they’re not surprising at all. At this point, I automatically assume any statuesque woman I see introduced on my TV screen is a dude. Glenn Close excepted.

* Yes, that Ding Dong joke did occur to me. Trying to keep it classy here. Unsuccessfully.