It might be a coincidence that I picked up Le Comte de Monte-Cristo at about the same time as the TV show Revenge started on air, 4 weeks ago.
Revenge is about Amanda Clarke/Emily Thorne, a woman whose father was wrongly imprisoned and who, after getting out of the mental institution, goes on a quest to avenge her father.
Set in the fashionable and wealthy Hamptons, Revenge is obviously a remake of Monte-Cristo… and yet it’s not a bad thing. The format of television is perfect for stories that require a bit more time to develop, and I’m liking the show a lot so far.
The actors are convincing as people who all have something to hide. From Emily who’s living under a new identity, to Nolan who knows who Emily really is, to the Grayson family who all have pretty big skeletons in their closets.
Revenge on this scale is a slow process and the pace of the show depicts that perfectly. Every one of Emily’s moves are calculated, every word she says part of a plan. The story arc is well established from the first episode on–the role of the show is to fill us in. I really enjoy shows that have a particular story to fulfill: it helps maintain the focus on what’s really important.
After a month, I’m still very much liking the show; and as I am reading Monte-Cristo along (in French, too, thank you very much), I can see how the writing team adapted the novel to modern life while maintaining the basic premise: what’s the ultimate cost of revenge?