TV Review - 666 Park Avenue

Terry O'Quinn (left) and Vanessa
Williams in "666 Park Avenue"
David Wilcox has written for Law & Order and Fringe. He developed this TV series from a book by Gabriella Pierce. There have been several, successful shows that have sprung from printed material. Dexter, True Blood and even The Walking Dead, which was adapted from a graphic novel, are all examples. The difference between those shows and this one is 666 Park Avenue is less faithful to its source. Obviously, liberties are taken with any adaptation, but, when the producers start to deviate so far off course, it ceases to make sense as to why Pierce or her publishers were even paid or given any credit. Wilcox took a couple of names and places, but that's it. If you buy the rights to a book, there should be a reason. That reason is non-evident here.

Pierce's book was all about witches. Wilcox's show so far is not. 666 Park Avenue is basically Terry O'Quinn playing the character he played in the final season of Lost only dressed in fancier suits and living as the owner of a upscale apartment building called The Drake in uptown Manhattan. Quinn plays Gavin Doran who could also be described as Mephistopheles by way of Donald Trump but minus the ridiculous hair. Gavin has seemingly limitless, demonic powers, but those powers might be conditional on manipulating people. Why he owns The Drake or what his end game is will be the mystery that the show will drag out. Whether that mystery will be dragged out as long as Lost did probably won't happen, but I'm not confident.

Vanessa Williams was able to have fun on Ugly Betty and Desperate Housewives, but, here she's so far had nothing to do. She's practically wasted in the first two episodes. The third gives her a little something but not much. She plays Olivia Doran, the wife of Gavin. Yet, besides being Terry O'Quinn's arm candy, I don't see any purpose to her.

Rachel Taylor co-stars as Jane Van Veen. She was an architect who decides to work as the resident manager of The Drake. She's also really into historic preservation. She has to learn the ins and outs of the building. She has to get to know the tenants, address any problems they may have, and deal with impudent employees like Tony, played by Erik Palladino. Tony is basically a thorn in Jane's side and that's it. Sadly, he's one-note, whereas Jane is possibly one step above the average female in the center of any horror film.

Dave Annable plays Henry Martin, Jane's live-in boyfriend who was a lawyer. Henry worked in the mayor's office but now does estate planning. Annable had a great role in Brothers & Sisters, but, like with Vanessa Williams, his only purpose here is to be Taylor's arm candy and confidant. It's hinted that he's going to have something to do in the future, as well as be a part of Gavin's plans, but, as of yet, all he's done is listen to Taylor give her lines of dialogue and look handsome.

The first episode obviously sets all of this up. It's fine. The second episode is the one that poses some real problems. By the end of the episode, I found myself not caring about anything that happened. I think the reason is because there were perhaps too many storylines in this episode. Essentially, four things were happening, which other shows like Brothers & Sisters have juggled successfully, and other prime-time shows have juggled successfully, but each storyline here feels under-developed.

Jane was investigating a four-decade-old murder. Brian Leonard, played by Robert Buckley, is a playwright who lives on the 6th floor and gets teased and seduced by a sexy neighbor. Gavin plays matchmaker to a woman who continually has trouble with men. Finally, Nona, another tenant who's possibly psychic, foresees the death of an exterminator a la Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds. For a hour-long drama, this isn't too much, but it doesn't really take the characters anywhere. It introduces these situations and doesn't resolve anything. Nothing felt accomplished or gained or advanced.

Two Stars out of Five.
Rated TV-14-LSV.
Running Time: 1 hr.
Airs Sundays at 10PM on ABC.


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