666 Park Avenue: Lazarus

"There is a price to pay for the thing we want the most."

And we're finally done! It's unfortunate really but even though the series finale has come and gone, I won't miss 666 Park Avenue one bit. This was one catastrophic disaster of a show.

When the pilot went into production last year, I was beyond ecstatic. The premise of the show was brimming with spooky potential, the cast was top-notch, and ABC had proven themselves at producing high-quality television. So imagine my disappointment when the pilot proved especially underwhelming, and further episodes ended up being even worse. When the show predictably got axed by ABC, I had high hopes that the writers would pull out all the stops and go out with a bang. Sadly, that was not the case.

The finale was obviously a product of a season's worth of ideas jumbled together to provide some sort of closure. The hasty writing was most evident with the introduction of Jane's estranged father in the last episode. Our protagonist's relationship with her dad obviously meant a lot to her, but this was something we were told instead of shown. Here we discovered daddy was insane thanks to his deceased wife cheating on him with none other than Gavin Doran! I have to say that was probably the only worthwhile "twist" the show ever effectively (sort of) pulled off. It didn't feel as poignant and earned as it should have been, but it at least added an interesting dimension to the preceding episodes. I almost feel like rewatching and checking for any clues that the writers were indeed thinking that far ahead. Of course Jane seemed to gloss over the fact that Gavin murdered her mom but the real meat of the story was Jane striking a Faustian deal with Gavin.

And so the show conveniently jumped one year later to show us that Henry won the election, and Jane was pregnant with what we can only assume is the antichrist who will bring hell on earth. It's a dark and somewhat disturbing note to end things on, and I'm admittedly impressed that the writers went there. Sure Jane's whole goth look at the end was a tad forced, but it felt campy enough to fit the tone they were going for.

I do have one final beef with the show though: why in the hell did they cast Vanessa Williams, an actress so talented and wonderfully complex, and give her absolutely nothing to do? At least give the woman something epic in your SERIES finale. It boggles my mind and if they couldn't see the potential they had in her, well, then I guess the show was doomed from the start.

Sinister Snippets

- Pretty nifty visuals with Jane almost drowning and then rising out of the water in slow-motion.

- How can I not discuss the trials of Louise and Brian disposing of the body? Absolutely horrid television. The two continued to talk in exposition and behave like utter idiots. Thank God Gavin trapped them in those walls at the end. Couldn't he have muted them too?

- Jane hugging Gavin as her dad went all trigger-happy was a very bizarre moment.

- Are we supposed to suspect that Henry killed the councilman?

- Nona was really tacked on in this hour. I had forgotten she even existed.

- I was extremely amused when Henry got shot. He has to be the most boring lead I've ever watched on a television show.

Ultimately, 666 Park Avenue rarely presented itself as anything more than passable, trashy entertainment. The elements were all there for one hell of a terrifying, engrossing experience. However, much like Ringer last year, the show effectively squandered all of its potential and proved to be a misfire on practically every level. A true pity.

3 out of 5 antichrist babies.

Previously posted on Nad's Reviews.


Billie Doux said...

Congratulations on finishing, Nadim! We need to come up with some sort of award to give you. :)

TJ said...

Yes Nadim! You really need an award for managing to pull out those reviews for this pile of p**.

I've been struggling like "hell" with this one. And for what? It all turned out to be Omen V/Da Vinci Code II. Sigh x 3!!

Agree about Vanessa Williams. And what about Terry O'Quinn? How could this go so wrong with these two wonderful actors as main characters??

Well, now it's finished. Which means there is a God, and the devil loses??

Nadim said...

Billie... scrumptious treats and gifts of all kind will be graciously accepted :)

TJ, I'm glad to see you also stuck with the show. It was absolutely horrid wasn't it?
And you're right, I STILL can't comprehend how in the hell they managed to screw up the pairing of Quinn and Williams. Those two alone should have made the show must-watch TV. Such a shame.

Anonymous said...

Well, everyone's entitled to their own opinion I guess.

From the very beginning, I was intrigued by 666 Park Avenue. Terry O'Quinn was devilishly good as Gavin Doran, though the character of Jane did annoy me at times. I loved the series and was saddened when it was cancelled.

Yep, I'm not pretentious enough to comment on the script writing, or production sets. All I know when I watch something is I either like it, or don't. I liked this show.

Cheyenne Clark

Nadim said...

Cheyenne Clark,

I don't think there's anything pretentious about having an opinion (just like you're entitled to have yours and I won't insult you for it).

I was always intrigued by the show and the spectacular cast assembled for this incredible premise. Unfortunately, I never once felt like the show tapped into its amazing potential. Instead of providing gripping characters and riveting plot twists, it settled for one-dimensional cardboard cutouts and predictable plotting. That doesn't take away from the outstanding cast or the fact that its premise was still compelling.
In MY opinion, it was always a missed opportunity. This could have been one heck of an epic show, it simply settled for forgettable.

Aly said...

Funny, if you don't wanna read opinions, why read reviews?

Anyway, opposed to you Nadim (and many others) I did enjoy this show, up until the last three eps.
I am a SciFi watcher, but not really into horror movies and such, so I was afraid in the beginning that this might be too scary for me. But thankfully it wasn't (at all) - which perhaps explains why so many others were not impressed, lol.
I am not saying I found the show outstanding, I did agree with points in many of your reviews as to finding the leads boring, even up until the point of forgetting their names and finding the love triangle terrible boresome (and some more things), I did find myself intrigued by the overall mystery and wanting to see the next eps every week.
Untill the last three, as I said. I felt like they had way too little time to explain all (or, to do it in the road they chose at least) and we got indeed a lot of exposition. And while in some eps things sometimes went on very slow, we now just skipped bits and got told what had happened (Jane finding the mozaik (sp?) in appt 2D etc). Anyway, so for me it was a bit of an anticlimax.

Reading your reviews has made watching the show more enjoyable - the eps I already liked, and also those I disliked. So thanks Nadim! :)

Aly said...

Oh and I forgot.. did I understand it wrongly that "the price they had to pay" for saving Henry's life, is Jane doing the same work as Gavin?
.. I mean.. was that all? - okay, that sounds weird, but I mean compared to some things the other tennants had to live with.

And what was the meaning of Nona's scene in the last ep anyway, aside just some more "exposition"?

ChrisB said...

For the love of all that's (un)holy, I can't believe the ending to this show. So predictable and so trite.

Oh well, at least it's behind me now and I can move on. I'm not sure why I felt so compelled to finish this horror of a series. I guess, like Nadim, I believed the writers would step up for the grand finale. Guess they were too busy working on their resumes.

Nadim said...

Thank you Aly for your kind commments!

Haha Chris resumes indeed. What a tragic waste of potential it turned out to be! I'm impressed you also stuck with it!

Dustin said...

Well, there's 13 hours of our lives that we'll never get back. What an underwhelming finale. So long Sux Sux Sux Park Ave!

PS Can't decide which would be worse - being Brian holed up for all eternity with Louise, or being Louise holed up for all eternity with Brian.

ChrisB said...

Dustin -- what a great comment! LOL.