Emily Thorne is a woman on a mission. I appreciate someone who goes after what they want, and in this case, what Emily wants is revenge. I'm not entirely sure of the timeline going on here, but maybe 10 years ago Emily's entire life was destroyed when her father was arrested while they were spending the summer at the Hamptons. The people truly responsible for the crime (which I won't give away here...mostly because I'm not entirely sure what's going on) set her Dad up for the fall, and now Emily is back and looking for payback.
I really dig the melodrama of this show. It gives me the opportunity to use phrases like "thirsting for vengeance" and "a dish best served cold."
Emily's main target is the royal family of the Hamptons, the Graysons. But she's looking to destroy everyone who was involved with the framing of her father, and doesn't seem to have any kind of moral quandary when it comes to getting what she wants. I personally find this refreshing--so much of television seems to focus on punishing female characters who act against what society deems acceptable. It's nice to have a female anti-hero to root for. And in a lot of ways, Emily reminds me of Veronica Mars. She's completely unapologetic about her devious (and dangerous) behavior; this is the person the world and the Graysons created. Emily is like karma personified and now she's back to bitchslap those who wronged her.
It's actually kind of a hard balance for a show to maintain; Emily engages in what most people would deem despicable behavior but because of her sympathetic back story I want her to succeed. I'm a little curious as to how the premise of the show is going to be sustainable for several years, but I remember having similar concerns with LOST and look how that worked out. I'm sure the information we get in the pilot is just the tip of the iceberg, and more twists await us. Which is another thing I like about the show--never underestimate the importance of surprising your audience.
The pilot episode did a really nice job of teasing out information and from the very beginning I had a lot of questions that I wanted to see answered. I actively wanted to keep watching, and that's not something every drama can achieve. I was a bit confused by the large cast of characters and how everyone relates to everyone else, but by the end of the show I think I had wrapped my head around most of it. My advice would be to watch the show (at least the first episode) without a lot of distraction. You're going to want to see each character as they are introduced or you'll have trouble understanding what's going on later.
I'll definitely be tuning in again. Think of this as kind of an adult version of Gossip Girl (complete with plotting and couture) and who doesn't like seeing privileged assholes get what's coming to them? Emily Vancamp plays the lead and while I could do with a bit more personality from her, I get that she is supposed to be a woman of many layers. Hopefully we'll see her really cut loose in the episodes to come.
In short, give it a look! It's probably not going to be for everyone, but I was surprised by how compelling I found the pilot. And there's nothing wrong with a show that gives a good slow burn...maybe revenge isn't always best served cold after all.