Since this show is coming from former Fringe and Life on Mars writer David Wilcox, I had high hopes for it. 666 Park Avenue is based on the novel of the same name by Gabriella Pierce. Unfortunately, two episodes in and I am still waiting for something to really grab my attention.
The series focuses on a young couple, Jane (Rachael Taylor, Charlie’s Angels) and Henry (Dave Annable, Brothers & Sisters), who get hired to manage the swanky Drake apartment building. The building is owned by billionaires Olivia (Vanessa Williams, Desperate Housewives) and Gavin Doran (Terry O’Quinn, Lost). On the surface, everything seems completely amazing. The building is beautiful and seems like paradise. However, as everyone could have guessed based on the title, there is a darker side to everything.
Gavin is a super creepy guy. O’Quinn is such a fantastic actor and there is a strong menacing undertone to everything he does. It verges on being over-the-top and hammy at times, but he is also just inherently charming. According to Gavin, he helps make dreams come true. It’s heavily implied from the pilot that Gavin is essentially the devil. People making deals with the devil: horror movie cliche #1.
Jane is an architect who is extremely interested in renovating old buildings. While exploring the basement of the Drake, she finds a mural that suggests there was some sort of secret society in The Drake’s past. Creepy building with a possibly haunted past: horror movie cliche #2.
There are a couple of other subplots, but they are even less interesting than the main plot. The problem with this show is that there is nothing truly original about it. I was so excited about this show because when it’s done correctly, horror can be a great and compelling genre. The flip side is that when it’s done poorly, it verges on unwatchable. It would be one thing if the show suffered from poor writing and was over-the-top bad. Then it would at least have the cheesiness factor. However, this show is just kind of boring.
So far, there have been allusions to Rosemary’s Baby, Rear Window, and The Birds. That’s all just been in two episodes. I keep waiting for a twist that I can’t see coming from a mile away, but the show has yet to fulfill that requirement. There is so much potential in this show. The cast is absolutely fantastic. Wilcox is a fantastic writer. All of them deserve better than this show. It is possible to do a great horror television show. Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk have shown us that with American Horror Story. Granted, they can get away with more extreme plot lines on F/X. Just because a show can’t be as graphic, it doesn’t mean it has to be mundane. The show has the potential to be a fantastic psychological thriller, but instead, it just throws out every horror trope imaginable.
I always say any show deserves at least five episodes before it truly finds its way. I’m two weeks in and determined to give it the full five weeks, but it’s hard so far. I’m thinking this will be the first show eliminated from my schedule this year.