An Emmy award-winning series from FX, "Damages" is another fine example of cable's continued show of strength, with shows both comedic ("It's Always Sunny") and dramatic ("Damages") gaining strong followings and grabbing an increasing amount of attention during awards season. Additionally, new cable offerings continue to attract bigger names to the cast, such as the all-star line-up that "Damages" brings to the table.
"Damages" was created by the team of Todd A. Kessler, Glenn Kessler and Daniel Zelman and stars Glenn Close as ruthless NYC lawyer Patty Hewes, who runs her own firm. Joined by protégée Ellen Parsons (Rose Byrne), the firm took on a massive case against a corrupt CEO named Arthur Frobisher (Ted Danson) on behalf of the company's employees (after an Enron-style meltdown of the company.)
During the legal battle, Ellen finds herself deeper and deeper into the depths of a moral and ethical darkness, as she soon finds that Patty will do anything and go to any length to win a case. Towards the end of the season, when a tragedy occurs, Ellen believes that Patty is the one behind it - and early in season 2, she is approached by the FBI to try and take down Patty from within the firm.
Complications also ensue in the form of Daniel Parcell (William Hurt), a man from her past who asks for her help and sends her documents after he's found himself in serious trouble. While she initially refuses to take the case, events occur and she quickly reconsiders.
The case is another whopper for the firm: Parcell must face off with giant energy corporation UNR, who he has information against. However, as the case proceeds, it becomes apparent that Parcell may have ulterior motives and that there may be a much larger conspiracy in play than Patty could have realized. When it becomes apparent what is going on, she takes an unexpected tactic to try and turn the tables back in her favor.
Meanwhile, Ellen meets a man in her therapy group, Wes Krulik (Timothy Olyphant) and begins to start a friendship. However, the secretive Wes may not be quite who he says he is. "Damages" offers a heaping helping of such twists, double-crosses and other surprises, but it's a credit to the show's solid writing that the twists and turns rarely seem forced.
This could also be due to the marvelous performances, with Close offering a powerhouse effort as the icy Patty, who can be a charmer one moment and then a monster the next. Byrne offers a fine supporting effort once again. Hurt also gives a first-rate performance, as does - in a smaller role, Marcia Gay Harden (as the lawyer for the head of the energy company.)
Overall, "Damages" continues to entertain, offering a tense, thrilling season with excellent performances from the ensemble cast.
14. 2- 1 7 Jan 09 I Lied, Too
15. 2- 2 14 Jan 09 Burn It, Shred It, I Don't Care
16. 2- 3 21 Jan 09 I Knew Your Pig
17. 2- 4 28 Jan 09 Hey! Mr. Pibb
18. 2- 5 4 Feb 09 I Agree, It Wasn't Funny
19. 2- 6 11 Feb 09 A Pretty Girl in a Leotard
20. 2- 7 18 Feb 09 New York Sucks
21. 2- 8 25 Feb 09 They Had to Tweeze That Out of My Kidney
22. 2- 9 4 Mar 09 You Got Your Prom Date Pregnant
23. 2-10 11 Mar 09 Uh Oh, Out Come the Skeletons
24. 2-11 18 Mar 09 London. Of Course.
25. 2-12 25 Mar 09 Look What He Dug Up This Time
26. 2-13 213 1 Apr 09 Trust Me
VIDEO: "Damages" is presented in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. The picture quality was quite good, as sharpness and detail remained above-average in all scenes aside from a few dimly-lit ones. While a few instances of slight pixelation were noticed, the presentation was otherwise smooth and clean, with no edge enhancement or other faults. Colors remained natural and seemed spot-on, with no smearing or other concerns.
SOUND: The show is presented in Dolby Digital 5.1. While the surrounds occasionally kick in to offer ambience and occasional effects, this is primarily a dialogue-driven series. Audio quality was fine, with clear, well-recorded dialogue.
EXTRAS: Cast and crew commentaries on episodes 1,8,12 & 13; character profiles, deleted scenes, Season One Recap and "Season Two: Post Mortem" featurette.
Final Thoughts: Overall, "Damages" continues to entertain, offering a tense, thrilling season with excellent performances from the ensemble cast. The DVD boasts very fine audio/video quality, as well as a nice helping of supplemental features. Recommended.