666 Park Avenue Review: Deals with the Devil

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I really wanted to like 666 Park Avenue.

I wanted to move in, kick my feet up and take up a very long residence inside an address that features such personal favorites as Terry O'Quinn, Vanessa Williams and Rachael Taylor.

But the pilot didn't exactly inspire me to buy an apartment there. I'll rent for a couple more weeks, but the series needs to seriously up the scary ante if it wants my down payment.

Terry O'Quinn and Vanessa Williams

Let's start with O'Quinn's Gavin Doran. We can only assume at this point that he's The Devil, which isn't exactly a fresh concept on TV or on the big screen. Blame Reaper or blame The Devil's Advocate or, heck, blame Death on The Simpsons.

But the premise simply doesn't feel very original. Nor does it give O'Quinn a lot of material to mine. Any fan of Lost is quite familiar with the nuances and the depth of this incredible actor.

Yet Gavin was one-note throughout the premiere. O'Quinn did tell me at Comic-Con that he has no interest in simply smirking and cackling his way through a role, that he'd never sign on for a one-dimensional project. So let's hope upcoming installments provide Gavin with a lot more layers.

The same can be said for all the characters. Did any really jump off the screen? Do any stand out as someone you're anxious to learn more about?

Dave Annable's Henry Martin seems like your basic nice guy, Taylor's Jane Van Veen possesses some potential due to her art history background, Williams' Olivia is elegant and enigmatic, but not especially fascinating.

And it's early, of course. It's very early. There's plenty of time to delve into these people's backgrounds and personalities. But if a premiere isn't going to draw you in with its characters, it better do so with its action and suspense.

However, 666 Park Avenue didn't grab me in this regard, either. The building is old and creepy and there's probably some ancient, supernatural reason why. I'm not going to pretend as if I have any theories right now. But through Lost and FlashForward and The Event, we've been down this heavy mythology road many times before. It's very difficult to pull off when it comes to both logic and interest.

It should be interesting to see whether a network drama can succeed in a world of American Horror Story (in terms of creepiness) and even shows such as Sons of Anarchy (in terms of brutality and shock). ABC can't get away with the same blood and gore and imagery as FX, so will this series simply feel like a watered down attempt of what cable has been pulling off so well over the past few years?

That was my main takeaway from the opening episode.

666 Park Avenue isn't trying to win any Emmy Awards (which is too bad when you employ someone such as O'Quinn); it's simply trying to be a campy hour of fun every Sunday night. But if that's the case, it needs to go all in. Go totally over the edge, American Horror Story style. Freak me the heck out! Be cheesy and ridiculous and over-the-top and don't even try to ground your characters in reality.

Is that the path this drama is headed down? Let's hope so.

What did everyone else think of the premiere? Give it a grade:

 

Review

Editor Rating: 3.4 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 3.7 / 5.0 (80 Votes)

Matt Richenthal is the Editor in Chief of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter and on Google+.

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I think these show is promoting the mark of the Beast for including 666 on the Title. And yes more natural disaster will come in this country and to all nation. This will happen very soon, the beast will rise and you have to accept the 666 mark so you can get whatever you wanted in life. This is not scary for people who read the book called (BIBLE) but I don't know if you actors or actress even read Bible for you spare time.

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The one thing that I find the most annoying is rachael Taylor's accent! I can't stand her fake American accent not to mention it comes and goes! She also had the habit of opening her mouth far too much when she speaks but that has improved! It is really distracting to watch someone with a horrible accent! I will watch the show to see if it gets better but the third episode is not grabbing me! With all of the so called reality shows on tv, housewives of everything, kardashian crap, toddlers who dresses like hookers, etc. etc. I will give any new show a go that may provide some entertainment other than fake no talent shows!

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I really like 666 Park! Thought it was a really great show & hope it does well... I hate getting addicted & then having shows cancelled. I love Revenge too but also really liked V and was not happy that ABC cancelled that show. I remember watching the original series, which was great for the time but the new V was doing it justice.... In addition to the new shows I wish they would bring back V!

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It's still possible to scare people without being too gory. Remember, the return to horror began on FOX, with THE X-FILES over 25 years ago. They had a much smaller budget for effects than AHS. But, they could give viewers nightmares with the mental & emotional scares that were heaped on Mulder & Scully. It's all in the writing. You're right. It's early. I'll keep watching to see what happens. That said, it felt like a dark FANTASY ISLAND to me. Instead of visitors learning about themselves and getting their happy ending, all their fondest desires lead to Hades.

Daveyfreeman

I haven't really watched so much devil-related series or films, so I had a pretty fun hour. I suppose it's going to be a mix of serial and freak of the week, and I'm looking forward to that.
Sure hope they don't try to make it like AHS. I personally find that show disgusting and sick.

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I was excited when I heard about the series being made into a TV show. They have done a very good job with TVD I was hoping for the same. Wow, the only thing that was similar to the book was the name of the show and the a few characters names. Maybe as we get further in I will enjoy it more as I forget the book and look at it as a new series period. I loved the books characters! So fair I feel luke warm about it at this point. Was kinda bored.

Chandelure

I had so high hopes for this show but sadly it didn't live up to my expectations. It just feels all over the place right now. And I would have prefered to see the beginning of a deal, like how do people find out about Gavin? How many actually know what/who Gavin is? It just feeled rushed to me. I really hope next week's episode is gonna be better than this.

Eludium-q36

I don't know guys, seems like a really safe attempt at PG-rated horror. I was rooting for Terry O'Quinn as a "LOST" alum but his watered down and oblique references to H.e.l.l and what's really going on were just disappointing. This show should clearly be written for adults but it comes off as written for tweens so it's not long for this world.

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i'll give it a b for now

Sarah-silva

I personally really liiked the premiere! It has tons of promise! The chemistry with Dave Anable and Rachel Taylor was hot! I also love Rob Buckley and Dave Anable so maybe that is why I liked the show! Sadly if the ratings are worse than Pan Am the show will not last!

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