Saturday, 12 October 2013

TV: Ray Donovan (S1) (9/10)

Why did I watch it?
Purely based on the intriguing trailers and admittedly more on the 'fixer' to the stars angle that the show was marketed under.

What's it all about?
Working as a shady 'fixer' for a L.A. law firm representing Hollywood's finest, things have been good for Ray Donovan (Liev Schreiber) after he and his brothers, Terry (Eddie Marsan) and Bunchy (Dash Mihok), left Boston and a scarred past behind them to move out West. Unfortunately for Ray, things all change when his estranged father Mickey (Jon Voight), the source of much of the family's drama, is released early from prison and heads to L.A bringing the FBI in tow. 

Should you watch it?
Ray Donovan is definitely my favourite new show of 2013. Combining Hollywood and the less privileged areas of L.A. alike with a fantastic cast and taking more than a passing inspiration from Tony Soprano's family problems the show ratchets up the drama throughout the twelve episodes and delivers a gripping second half to it's first season.

Boasting the likes of Schreiber, Voight, James Woods and Elliott Gould, the acting is first class. Special mentions for Eddie Marsan, excellent as Terry, the boxing trainer suffering from Parkinsons and Jon Voight, who must be in contention for an award for his portrayal of equally crazed and happy go lucky Donovan patriarch Mickey. Voight attacks the role with relish and doesn't look anything close to his seventy-four years of age as he asks a woman he chats up at a spa 'Do you know how to twerk?'.  

After the second episode it became apparent that the show was going down the family drama path relying on Ray's fixer career as a background narrative and I was unsure about this but the characters on offer are so strong that the show definitely benefits from being a character driven drama and ultimately excels at this.

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