666 Park Avenue - Review
Viewers here in the UK have to be very cautious when deciding to embark on a new American TV show. No sooner have you invested time (and SKY box space) in a new series than you find out it’s been cancelled, sometimes mid series. With 666 Park Avenue starting on ITV2 this week, rumours abound that the show is to be given the chop already, so you have to ask yourself if it’s worth bothering with what may be a very short run.
666 Park Avenue concerns a ridiculously beautiful New York apartment building owned by Gavin and Olivia (Terry O’Quinn and Vanessa Williams) who have just employed a beautiful young couple, Henry and Jane (Dave Annabelle and Rachael Taylor), to manage the building for them. Wide eyed and innocent, Henry and Jane seem oblivious to the evil portent that oozes from every pore of the building, and take up residence in one of the penthouse apartments and start to work “managing” the building. In American TV parlance “managing” the building seems to mean simply walking around with a clipboard, for the sole purpose of meeting each of the residents and wandering around the creepier parts of the building
The fact that in the first thirty minutes they meet a man in the basement with his hands covered in blood, a woman almost crushed to death by the lift doors and discover a mosaic in the basement that seems to hint at some kind of devil worship doesn’t seem to ring any alarm bells at all with this doe eyed couple. And that’s where 666 Park Avenue’s main problem lies.
The fact that the show is called 666 Park Avenue, when the building is actually numbered 999, tells us, the audience, that there is devil’s work going on here, and if not the devil himself, then Terry O’Quinn is certainly his representative here on earth. So even before the end of the first episode we are pretty sure where this is going. A pre credit sequence involving a concert violinist, bleeding fingers and a very small hole in the buildings front door, basically tells us everything we need to know about the show. And that will probably be the shows downfall, because even after one episode this feels formulaic.
There’s fun to be had watching the always good value for money O’Quinn, while Williams seems to be playing the same character she did in Ugly Betty and Desperate Housewives. The two leads are too cookie cutter perfect, so don’t come across as real or believable, while the special effects, script and storyline seem way below par to survive in the dog eat dog world of American TV. 666 Park Avenue, it would seem, will be facing foreclosure far sooner than it would have liked.
666 Park Avenue is on ITV2, Tuesday nights at 10pm. Check out the pilot on ITV Player.