by Tess Young
Damages is a TV lawyer program that features Glenn Close, John Goodman, Rose Byrne, Ted Danson and others. It is a well thought out show with great acting and top notch actors in a dark environment. The creators of this television show have gone through some considerable effort not to center this program on the courtroom and moving from case to case. Instead, Damages is focused on blackmail and depositions, in intrigue and compromise…all outside of the courtroom.
Many lawyer type programs are centered on long trials and giving long speeches in the courthouse. Lawyers for the plaintiffs are trying to protect their clients from prosecution and the defense is doing the same. Damages is really not about this and although the characters are indeed lawyers in this program, the show is centered more on the interactions between the clients and lawyers and not the law so much. So, what exactly makes Damages such a popular television show anyway?
Loving Patty Hewes
Glenn Close plays Patty Hewes and her character in this show is unparalleled in TV, giving a performance worthy of many awards. Patty is both terrifying and vulnerable. She is both demon and saint. Her fight against Wall Street malpractice is ruthless and is fueled by her own narcissism and urge to stand up against the bullies.
Her character will do just about anything to win against rich and powerful evil doers. She wins some battles and she loses some battles, but then she goes and wins some more. In the end, she always claims victory and everyone else either dies or loses everything.
Loving Ellen Parsons
Although it might seem Damages is all about Patty Hewes, along comes Ellen Parsons–someone who can definitely hold her own. She portrays the part of a cool-headed, clever woman whereas Patty is full of madness and rage. Patty may be the main character, but the TV show is typically told through the eyes of Ellen, so viewers see Patty as her enemies’ tormentor (as well as Ellen) and as a woman who has sacrificed everything for her success.
Ellen begins on the show as a naive law school graduate who lands a position in Patty’s law firm. Although she quickly becomes drawn to the dark, psychological world of New York high stakes litigation, she just as quickly becomes a matching opponent worthy of the scary Patty Hewes.
Loving the Patty Hewes & Ellen Parsons Relationship
Over the seasons, the relationship between Patty Hewes, the high-powered attorney, and Ellen Parsons, Patty’s protégé-turned-rival, has been charted through Damages. Even though each season brings on a new case as well as new cast of characters, the overall show always centers on the intense relationship between these two women. Although neither woman would like to admit it, they are very similar and both are driven by their need for success no matter the price. They are also both the children of fathers who were abusive and both are capable of drawing out the best and worst in each other.
Damages sits alongside the best television shows around. It takes its viewers on a ride that invites some of the most complex relationships and characters and intricate plots on television. It truly deserves to be in the top ten lists, as well as any award category, as it is considered essential viewing for its fans. If you happen to watch Damages all the way up to the 59th episode, the best part is the finale which brings out the significance in every twist prior to it.
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