Tuesday, October 02, 2012
666 Park Avenue (Series Premiere)
With only 6.97 million viewers tuning in for the premiere, ABC has to be incredibly disappointed. But I’ll bet the marketing folks probably wish it had been a little lower. Imagine all the possibilities with 6.66 million viewers. Maybe the show causes Nielsen boxes to malfunction! Then followed by stories from the cast about spooky incidents occurring on set. Maybe a priest has to come in and -- Ah, well....
All in all, I thought the pilot was solid. Naive couple (Rachael Tayler and Dave Annable) unwittingly sign their souls away to creepy power couple Terry O’Quinn and Vanessa L. Williams, and move into the swank Drake apartment building. Meanwhile, one resident gets attacked by an elevator, and another must kill in order to keep his wife alive.
Seems like a mix of Fantasy Island, and to a lesser extent, The Devil’s Advocate. The setting reminds me of another Manhattan apartment building with a dark history, the Shandor Building (aka Spook Central) from Ghostbusters.
The other obvious comparison would be American Horror Story, but I don’t think that’s a fair one. Cable shows have far more freedom and smaller expectations when it comes to ratings. But networks do seem genuinely surprised when they try to emulate a popular cable show and it fizzles.
While I liked the cast and setting, I thought the jump scares were all too familiar and lacking in creativity. The only thing missing was a black cat jumping out of a cupboard at an especially tense moment. For a show involving Faustian pacts, ghosts, death and whatnot, it was rather tame -- especially for the 10pm slot. I’m not advocating decapitations and ritualistic sex, just for more suspense and more interesting twists than a character’s nightmare turning out to be real.
In case you missed it, watch the pilot here.