Get Your Family Drama Fix
“Ray Donovan” on Showtime
By M.J. Wilde
Oh, huzzah, my darling TV babies! Long time no bother!
Yes, the TV Queen is back—if only for a moment—from her untimely retirement.
“Xavier! Manservant! Bring me some queso, chips and teeny weenies. I feel the Tube of Life calling my name!”
There’s so much to watch, my clever whippets. So many shows, so little time. So I’m here to mention a show that may have slipped clean under your radar. It's not your fault, though you should pay better attention, you lazy, wicked couch monkeys.
Oh, that was tasty.
The show is called “Ray Donovan” and airs on Showtime on Sundays at 8 p.m. Now isn’t that convenient? You see Ray—as played to beautiful perfection with complexity, intensity and utter maleness by mostly movie star Liev Schreiber (Defiance, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Scream)—is a Hollywood fixer. Say you wake up in bed after a night on the town with a dead hooker and need that to, you know, go away. You simply call Ray Donovan, and your troubles are over. He will also beat the bananas out of your stalker—if he feels it’s the right thing to do. Yes, he’s a keeper.
He also used to be a well-known, ruthless thug back in Boston. But he found helping the rich and powerful out of jams is a really good way to support his family in style and work out some deep-seated emotional issues. Thus the move to La-La Land. Is this a great country or what?
All goes along well until we start to see how all these Machiavellian machinations are slowly working their way into the crevices of Ray’s home life with the wife and kiddos. Also he may give off an air of respectability, but that just masks the fact he can’t get away from his past—a past including a brother who was molested by the neighborhood priest back in Boston, another brother who’s been physically crippled by life and a father who was sent to prison and blames Ray for all his ills.
Speaking of playing a character to perfection: Ray’s slimy father is brought to life by the amazing Jon Voight. The guy is beyond creepy, and he will do anything to insinuate himself into Ray’s life. Voight is so good that watching him made me want to scrub off—in a vat of butterflies and Clorox. (FYI: Don’t do that.)
The drowning morality and explosive family dynamics will bring back memories of great shows like, yes, “The Sopranos.” But make no mistake; this baby is an original, and Schreiber is the man to watch. He’s latched onto something great here, and I can’t wait to see where he takes it.
“Xavier! Pop some corn! It’s going to be a bumpy night!”
“Ray Donovan” airs on Showtime on Sundays at 8 p.m.
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