Sorry …I just don’t get Revenge.

Confession time. I’m now three episodes into Revenge and I’m bored.

Yet two million other Aussies, and 1.8m last week, are hooked on the thing. What am I not getting?

Sorry, but it’s not half the show that Homeland is.

I keep waiting for Revenge to excite me, but all I am seeing are one-dimensional characters wading through sluggish scenes about lies and affairs. I can’t work out what the appeal is.

It’s not that I don’t like Emily VanCamp, she’s a stunner and I enjoyed her in Brothers and Sisters. It’s not that I don’t like the genre (I was a big fan of Dallas and Melrose Place). I can see Madeline Stowe is loving playing a bitch in high heels. But the rest of it is just Mills and Boon meets The Bold and the Beautiful with a beach-house.

At least Dirty Sexy Money had a send of fun. At least Desperate Housewives had character. These people have no humour, no humility, and so far have been nothing more than rich folk with nothing better to do. Was The Count of Monte Cristo as bland as this?

As a colleague recently said of the show “I’m going to need more than her just crossing names off a list every week.”

Why is Australia hooked on it?

Homeland on the other hand has me intrigued by the depth of its characters. There are subplots going on all over the place -and subtext too- and the performances are outstanding. The plotting leaves me doubting myself about what I thought I knew (just wait for tonight’s episode). Yet it’s not getting anywhere near the numbers of Revenge.

The only thing I can attribute this to is Seven’s expert ability to market their shows. Revenge was plugged throughout the Australian Open and it follows My Kitchen Rules. Seven is so successful  at this you’d swear they could have Ray Meagher reciting the White Pages and it would probably rate.

So kudos to them for that.

If Homeland or The Good Wife were running on Seven you could probably whack on another 500,000 straight off the bat.

And I didn’t mind the season premiere of Alcatraz, but need to check its subsequent eps.

It’s as if some networks have a glass ceiling on the number of viewers their shows can attract, according to the success of the network as a whole.

Oh well. Good luck to Revenge. If Seven can promote a show that’s really worth about 1.2m and land above 1.8m then bully for them.

But I’m just about done.


  1. Can I just say Wow, don’t think I have seen so many comments to a post in ages.
    I respect your input David. I think I ma watching it, because i too like Emily VanCamp. As for the Ch7 promotion bandwagon, I am very anti over promotion of shows, hence i only watch what I want to watch because it appeals to me, not becuase it is rammed down my throat continuously, in fact that method actually turns me off some shows like MKR

  2. I’m the opposite – I hang out for Revenge every week, whereas I only watch Homeland as some sort of duty. I find it boring, to be honest. It takes itself far too seriously for what it is, whereas Revenge is soap and knows it.

  3. I like both shows for different reasons, but I thought Homeland got a bit soapy last night anyway. I will still watch because I’m addicted but I worry they will ruin a good premise because they want to extend a series past what it should be.

    Revenge is good, a poor mans Dallas but I can’t think of a buzz around a show like this since Desperate Housewives or maybe even Melrose Place.

  4. This is how i feel about madmen. Everyone likes it, but i just don’t get it.
    And yum-e. If you are feeling left out because bogans are getting shows aimed at us. Why don’t you get off your intellectual backside and make a tv show that can be enjoyed by the upper class?
    anyway. We of the bogan class don’t watch shows liek this. We would rather watch operation repo etc.
    OZtam don’t put too many rating boxes in homes of we pitiful bogans. So don’t go blaming us for the success of shows like these.

  5. I have to agree with those who said comparing Homeland and Revenge is a silly comparison – there’s nothing in common with either of them apart from both of them being US dramas premiering in the same season.

    One is on a niche cable network in the US, the other is on a major FTA network over there. It’s like comparing a show like NCIS to Mad Men…why do it? Apples and oranges

  6. I have yet to see Homeland and Revenge but I doubt they aren’t as boring as overrated as Mad Men, which is what this story/thread should be about. Im sure I could sit through both of those shows but Mad Men, thats a chore.

    Im thinking Revenge is the type of show like ‘Lost’ where you keep watching even though nothings happening most of the time but you keep watching anyway to see what happens.

  7. The shorts were enough to put me off Revenge. Not at all interested.

    Homeland is good though (not The Wire, The West Wing or Deadwood good mind you, but pretty good. Damages good.)

    As to why Revenge is doing so much better than Homeland, well most people do like comforting, unchallenging, mediocre entertainment (hence the popularity of backyard renovation and competitive cooking shows) and Seven are better at promoting stuff than most of the others lately. And TEN are pretty much a disaster nowadays that most viewers avoid on principle.

  8. Comparing Revenge to Homeland is difficult on many levels.
    Homeland slow but intense building to a frenetic Epp 12 that leaves you wanting so much more only to find out it doesn’t resume until early October in the States.
    This one thing annoys the hell out of me and I hope they haven’t over estimated the audience’s patience with the amount of Television turnover these days.
    Revenge on the other hand builds but in the form of a back story to the first scene, this is somewhat tedious but systematic and rewarding after the first half dozen Epps.
    All bets are off after Epp 15 and I implore everyone to see it through because the story only really starts from this point with the previous parts all giving clues to a very clever change in direction.

  9. I don’t see why your surprised that Homeland isn’t getting the same ratings as Revenge. People flock in great numbers to mediocrity, while true quality is most of the time not that popular. Two and a half men will probably get to 10 seasons, but the world is deprived of cancelled genius such as Arrested Development, Party Down and perhaps Community. As for dramas, most people would not even know what you were talking about if you mention Breaking Bad or Deadwood (probably television’s two greatest dramas ever), yet the world becomes obsessed with The Mentalist and Grey’s Anatomy. People can say whatever they want about Revenge, but it is simply a primetime melodrama, not anywhere near in the same echelon as Breaking Bad, Deadwood, The Sopranos, and The Wire. They are of course all cable shows, but Revenge is not even in top bracket of recent network dramas such as Lost, The Good Wife, and Friday Night Lights.

    As far as television goes, a great quote is “The average person does not watch television to be challenged or even to be entertained, they want to be comforted”.

  10. Wow, I have seen post responses like this since the Ready, Steady, Cook host change fiasco!

    I can’t rate Homeland, only because I haven’t seen it. It sounds like I should get into it though.

    I get why you are not so keen on Revenge, but it does get better, I almost dropped off watching it, and I thought the ‘cross off of the week’ will get a bit mundane, but it does actually change and more drama unfolds. There are at times, I do get distracted and play a few rounds of Words with Friends on my phone, but I am still keen to complete the season, I think there are only 9 eps left in the US, so it should run most weeks from now until mid May.

  11. You’re absolutely spot on about the Seven’s marketing. They always get good ratings, no matter how bad the show is. How else could one explain how shows such as Please Marry My Boy manage to get 1 million+ viewers? Hell, even Today Tonight rates well. Pretty soon Brynne Edelstein’s show will be on and it will probably be bad and will probably get at least a million (though I’ll be quite happy to be proven wrong).

  12. That’s ok David it’s not for everyone but I must say episode 5 and onwards there is an arc which is great and then to top it all off episode 15 is a cracker. I too didn’t really like the first couple of episodes after the pilot either but then it hooked me from ep 5.

    Homeland is a different kettle of fish and is despite its quality it’s a heavy drama and so different.

  13. Couldn’t agree with you more David!!
    and thats great that the show gets better after the 5th episode….. but why didn’t they just cut the first 4? Might have been interested but not watching it for 5 weeks to get intrigued!! Love Homeland!!

  14. I Love homeland. i think it’s an amazing show with a fantastic interesting plot, but i don’t get revenge. the pilot was unbelievably boring, by the end i didn’t care who died who cried or who survived. Excuse the rhyming.

  15. As someone who has seen past episode 5… I’m not sure I understand exactly why people think it gets better after episode 5? I gave up at episode 7.

  16. It’s not you. I watched the first episode and realised it was exactly like Bold and the Beautiful.

    I’ve watched the first season of Mad Men and don’t see what the fuss is all about. I tried and just couldn’t get into that show. I guess that’s just being human, having various tastes.

  17. Homeland was excellent, until the writers failed to hold their nerve.

    But it is very heavy and I can understand why some frothy soap pulls bigger numbers.

  18. I’ll admit of the three (Homeland, Revenge and Alcatraz ) I only watch Alcatraz and only when they repeat it. I hope they continue them or I’ll have to give it up. I just can’t watch Monday shows as I’m a creature of habit and I’m watching other things.

    As for Homeland I just didn’t like the start where they had her in Iraq so flicked over. I still look forward to Once Upon a Time and hope they put it on a sensible time I can watch.

  19. Enjoy both shows, but would put Homeland first. For me it’s Homeland, The Good Wife, Revenge and Sherlock, my four favourites. I like Revenge for the Hamptons holiday homes and seeing how the rich live over there!

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