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"666 Park Avenue" Series Premiere Review

Kiran Kazalbash |
October 1, 2012 | 10:24 a.m. PDT

Staff Reporter

Terry O'Quinn and Vanessa Williams as the Dorans on ABC's "666 Park Avenue."(Courtesy ABC.com)
Terry O'Quinn and Vanessa Williams as the Dorans on ABC's "666 Park Avenue."(Courtesy ABC.com)
If you’re in the mood for an intense, spine-chilling, terrifying horror series then you’ve come to the wrong address. If you’re looking for a more mellow mystery series with some spooky moments then "666 Park Avenue" could be a good investment. In an effort to share in the success of series like “The Walking Dead” and “American Horror Story,” ABC’s new supernatural drama “666 Park Avenue,” tries its hand at frightening network viewers into a hit of their own.  Though the pilot episode has less of a fear factor than advertised, it does have strong elements of intrigue along with a few ominous moments.

Terry O’Quinn and Vanessa Williams play Gavin and Olivia Doran, an eerily powerful couple who own The Drake, a luxury apartment building on 999 Park Avenue in Manhattan.  After their previous apartment manager mysteriously moves to “some place warmer”, the Doran’s hold interviews to find a replacement manager for the building.

A young lawyer, Henry Martin (Dave Annable) and his out-of-work architect girlfriend Jane Van Veen (Rachael Taylor) come to interview for the position and win over the couple. The Doran's seem to be overjoyed with their arrival. Along with the responsibility of tending to the apartment building and its tenants, Jane quickly becomes intrigued by The Drake and its mysterious past residents. The episode follows several tenants whom all seem to have made “deals” with Mr. Doran in order to make their deepest desires into reality. The Doran’s, however, always require something sinister in return.

The series is in no way a blood-and-gore, jump-out-of-your-chair type of horror show, but instead uses ghostly presences and flickering lights to give the viewer an illusion of terror. While some of these moments seem cheesy, it’s the mystery in the character story lines that keep you interested.  From tenants being brought back from the dead, to others experiencing inexplicable “accidents,” each story leaves you begging the question: How did each tenant end up at The Drake? Is Gavin Doran the devil? How will Henry and Jane make it out alive?

O’Quinn is perfect in his role as the dark and menacing Gavin Doran, and Williams, though sparse throughout the episode, is excellent as O’Quinn’s evil wife and co-conspirator.  Annable and Taylor are also well cast as the young naïve yet eager couple; you can’t help but root for their survival.

For a pilot episode, “666” did set itself up with an ambitious plot that could contain too many storylines to engage the audience. It might be too early to tell whether this series has more to offer than just a haunted house ghost story. As we get more insight into the lives of each character, perhaps the series could develop into a suspenseful, engaging supernatural drama. As for now, "666 Park Avenue" might just be a fun place to drop by if you happen to be in the neighborhood.

Contact Repoter Kiran Kazalbash here



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