666 Park Avenue is one of those series that will probably have to play itself out before the final verdict is rendered. The new ABC drama unveils a young couple by the names of Jane and Henry, who become managers of an Upper West Side apartment building known as The Drake, whose address is 999 Park Avenue. The building is owned by the Dorans, played by Terry O’Quinn (Lost) and Vanessa Williams (Desperate Housewives). The premise of the show is that every tenant in The Drake has sold his or her soul to someone, albeit the devil. There are hints that Gavin Doran (O’Quinn’s character) is the devil himself or is somehow the middleman to the malevolent spirit.
The pilot episode opens with a violinist speaking to Gavin on the telephone, requesting a little more time in an effort to avoid his fate. The violinist is able to escape The Drake briefly and breathes a sigh of relief before being sucked back in through one of the peepholes. The tenants in the building include Brian and Louise, a married couple; Nona, a young woman who has klepto tendencies; and a widower who makes a deal with Gavin, then reneges and ends up getting sucked into the wall of his apartment.
666 Park Avenue has all the thrills and chills you’d expect it to have. Think Stephen King mixed with a little “Rosemary’s Baby” with an “Omen” on the side. The problem is that there is too much going on, too soon. The writers seemingly sought to throw everything they could into one episode and hope to hook viewers. The naïveté of Jane and Henry will be something to watch as the series progresses as Jane has already stumbled on a few odds and ends in The Drake. There is a plus side to 666 Park Avenue though: O’Quinn and Williams are masterful in their acting and were great picks to play sinister roles; the only time it’s revealed to be 666 Park Avenue is when the light hitting the sign is reflected onto the pavement; and potential tenants know that the place is macabre is when it’s too late.
Hopefully the premise of do as you’re told or become food for the hotel doesn’t wear thin too quickly or 666 Park Avenue may end up closing permanently.
666 Park Avenue receives a PAR
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