’666 Park Avenue’ Series Premiere Review

Published 3 years ago by

Terry OQuinn Vanessa Williams Dave Annable Rachael Taylor in 666 Park Avenue 666 Park Avenue Series Premiere Review

In one fell swoop, 666 Park Avenue, ABC’s newest offering for its soapy Sunday nights, manages to sell the spectacle of New York decadence through the wide-eyes of two ambitious Midwesterners and offer up a silly, but fun little mainstream horror show. Take a little bit from Rosemary’s Baby, a touch of The Shining and a splash of The Devil’s Advocate, and 666 Park Avenue is practically ready to be consumed by those not ready to end the night with Revenge.

From the onset, it’s clear that the show’s setting, the Drake, is as deserving a shot at the spotlight as the rest of the cast, especially since the pilot decides to show the apartment building’s dark side before introducing it as a bustling hub of activity and personality tucked away inside New York City.

As soon as the lovely Jane Van Veen, played by Rachael Taylor of ABC’s short-lived Charlie’s Angels reboot, and her boyfriend, Henry Martin (Dave Annable), catch a glimpse of the high-class wonder that is the Drake, it illustrates just how far they are from whatever goals they’ve set forth for themselves. Jane’s an up-and-coming, but out of work architect, and Henry’s a young lawyer working for the mayor. The pilot makes it pretty clear these are two career-minded individuals – not altogether unlike the rest of the Drake’s residents – who are looking for their chance to get ahead and prove themselves. The only trouble is, they’ve no idea what they’ve stumbled onto with the better-than-it-looks offer to serve as the Drake’s apartment managers.

Thankfully, the same can’t be said of the pilot.

Rachael Taylor Dave Annable Terry OQuinn in 666 Park Avenue 666 Park Avenue Series Premiere Review

The show isn’t afraid to tip its hand early, and it’s a gamble that pays off. From the series’ opening sequence, featuring a panicked violinist whose not-so-figurative deal with the devil has just expired, it’s clear that the owners of the Drake, Gavin Doran (Terry O’Quinn) and his beautiful wife Olivia (Vanessa Williams) are dealing in one way tickets to hell. After bouncing around post-Lost on other networks like with CBS’s Hawaii Five-0 and TNT’s Falling Skies, O’Quinn has found himself back on ABC in a role that seems to suits him quite well. Meanwhile, Williams is barely present in the pilot episode, but the scenes in which she does appear have her equally adept at making Gavin look good, while making Jane feel meek and out of place. So far, the Dorans make for the series’ most interesting couple, but even in New York, it’s hard to top those who are in the soul-dealing business.

Though the plot hinges on Jane and Henry, and their gradual immersion into the super-deluxe lifestyle of the Dorans, the Drake has plenty of other residents knowingly making their wildest dreams come true – and a few who are just as clueless as Jane and Henry. Enter emasculated playwright Brian (Robert Buckley) and his alpha wife Louise (Mercedes Masöhn). Brian can’t seem to get past the first line of his new play, what with all the distractions of Louise sending him all over town to get just the right soy milk and the way the lady in the apartment across the street keeps locking eyes with him all the time. It seems the Dorans (and possibly the Drake itself) may have plans for the residents, and Brian especially, after nearly crushing Louise to death with the elevator door.

And it’s there, in the ever-shifting swing of tenants, that 666 Park Avenue likely has its structure. After casting the violinist “someplace warmer,” Gavin has one of his tenants, a recent widower named John, handle a few killings in exchange for bringing his late wife back from the grave. As is so often the case with those willing to make such a deal, the whole thing goes south. John loses his wife once more, and is, presumably, also on his way someplace warmer. It’s easy to see how the series can feature a new deal bound to go wrong each week that will help highlight a theme and simultaneously make the temptation faced by Jane and Henry all the more enticing. After all, the lifestyle of the Drake may be new to the couple, but when faced with a deal of such luxury, who wouldn’t be willing to skip over some important contracts in favor of experiencing something new?

Terry OQuinn and Vanessa Williams in 666 Park Avenue 666 Park Avenue Series Premiere Review

But as the pilot shows, it’s not all nights at the symphony adorned in flowing red gowns courtesy of the Dorans’ seemingly bottomless bank account. Jane’s sense of architectural curiosity, and otherwise lack of employment has her snooping around the library, uncovering the historical importance of the Drake, and slowly unraveling pieces of it and its owners’ true nature. Jane’s digging around uncovers plenty of new mysteries for the series to unveil, while a few, like the clairvoyant little thief Nona (Samantha Logan) may be further past her immediate range of vision, but hint at an important part of the series’ mythology.

Cleverly, creator David Wilcox (Fringe) – working from the novels by Gabriella Pierce – manages to take that early reveal and turn it into a wry smile that lets the audience in on the joke, but still leaves plenty of fodder for episodes to come. Like Brian, 666 Park Avenue is more than a little voyeuristic, but then again, that’s the show’s appeal: It’s a horror program, but only in the lightest sense of the word. Park Avenue is not going to test the boundaries of television standards like FX’s American Horror Story, but it will likely entice those looking for a new soap, or those looking for an easy-to-watch series with some supernatural underpinnings. Throw in some spooky apparitions and a mystery surrounding the building’s occult-heavy beginnings, and ABC just might have a guilty little pleasure on its hands.


666 Park Avenue airs Sunday nights @10pm on ABC.

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  1. Just wtched “666 Park Avenue” pilot. The show is a total FAIL. Couldn’t understaf more than half the dialogue, due to actors’ low mumbling and super fast recitation of their lines, with no regard for inflection.remids me of similar directorial failures of “X-Files” and “Law & Order”. Except, this time, we couldn’t salvage the show with closed captioning, which also displayed garbled strings of random letters. My wife quit watching about halfway through the pilot, and started playing video games. I gave it 3 thumbs down on the Tivo, and dom’t plan to watch again.

    • Maybe the fail is in your television or hearing, to be frank, because I had the TV on low so as not to risk waking my child and I heard every line just fine…

    • Yes! The low mumbling was impossible to hear even at full volume!

    • Volume has been just fine. Was played from ABC app on iPad while wearing headphones. There was nothing to complain about so I don’t know what is wrong with your tv… Looking forward to more episodes!

    • Mumbling???? Maybe you should invest in a new TV.

  2. ABSOLUTELY LOVED IT. The set design was mind blowing and the fast paced action kept me interested the entire time. 4 thumbs up, if only I had two more hands. A MUST SEE

  3. alyson, I AGREE, this show gets an A+ in my and my husband’s book. had to send the kiddies to bed due to the sexy nature of the amazing thrilling constant drama. kept me on the edge of my seat. definitely tuning in to next weeks episode :) !!!

  4. Wondering what the movement was at the second symphonic production the main characters attended in the show, if you know please share, I have an idea, but can’t confirm
    Thank you

    • Doug, the music is the second movement of Beethoven’s 7th Symphony. Cool stuff

      • Thank you.

    • The second movement of Beethoven’s 7th Symphony

    • The music is not Beethoven at all. It is Vivaldi.

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  6. Can’t wait to see this, as I am a big Terry O’Quinn fan. He was the only reason I watched the last few years of Lost, and despite how bad that turned out to be, I liked his performance in it.

  7. I thought the show was terrible…..would never have watched it if it didn’t come on after Revenge which is an awesome show!!!

  8. I agree with the reviewer. The show is intended to be a spooky soap not a scare fest. I never got into American Horror Story because I felt it was deliberately over the top and not what I wanted to experience before retiring for the night. 666 is just enough to keep me on edge without unnerving me. Good show.

    • I agree. Perfect mix of scare and interest. Any more scare would probably push me away from watching it. Fantastic plot.

  9. my classmate’s half-sister brought home $21466 the prior week. she has been working on the internet and bought a $550600 home. All she did was get blessed and put to work the guide laid out on this website blue31dotcom

    • good for her, we unemployed dont care to hear that s***

    • My neighbor’s step-daughter brought home a drunk from a bar.

  10. I watched the pilot this morning and wasn’t too impressed. It felt like a cheaper version of American Horror Story with a 90210 twist, LOL. The only reason why I even watched it was because of Terry O’Quinn. I think the show needs that “Wow” factor because the pilot wasn’t anything special and nothing that stands out. Considering my Sunday’s are already filled up with Boardwalk Empire/Game of Thrones and Hells on Wheels/The Walking Dead/Breaking Bad

    • I probably won’t be interested in this show because of the much superior shows out there

  11. I am not completely sold on 666 Park Avenue just yet. It has a great premise and I really liked the characters, I just wanted to be scared a little more. That might just be me, since my coworkers at DISH seemed to enjoy it quite a bit, but it definitely has the ingredients to be very dramatic and scary. Thankfully, I don’t have to commit to it just yet, since my Hopper records it automatically with the PrimeTime Anytime feature. I really hope that it can be a great watch, but if there aren’t more scares in future episodes, I might just have to turn it off.

  12. Another stupid show. What is wrong with writers, who are they writing for, Jr. High? All the new shows this year are a failure.
    “Elementary” is another dumb show. Even “The Good Wife” has now joined the club for immature writing, juvenile fantasies, nothing of substance.
    What a mess this season is.

  13. Always intrested to see how the devil is potrayed, but I was amazed by the pilot. I liked it enough though.

  14. Giving it a chance. With so many tenants in danger of being sucked into Hell, they would have a low occupancy rate, you’d think. Seriously though, it could be good with the right writers and direction of plot.

  15. What classical music piece was the symphony playing in 666 park premier?

    • The music in the opening scene was Vivaldi’s concerto for two cellos in g minor.

      • what was the song toward the end of the episode at the concert? it’s on the tip of my tongue!

        • Beethoven’s 7th symphony, 2nd movement.

    • vivaldi’s double cello concerto (:

  16. i liked this. i also liked The Gates, and we know how that worked out. i thought the show was fun to watch and am curious to see how it plays out the next few episodes, but i’ll be surprised if it makes it the full season.

  17. Sounds like Love Boat or Fantasy Island meets Faust or something. But seems worth a watch for a bit of entertainment.

  18. Hey trick or treat everybody!

    Hope they do a Halloween special at 666 Park Avenue with people trick or treating or at least a Halloween partyTthat would be a great episode scary but yet amusing too. I have some more great ideas but that’s it for now. The rest of my ideas I keep to myself or go on the payroll! Happy Halloween! My favorite holiday and this show is just in time for it! I loved the show.

    Booooooooooooo Lori

  19. Retro: Jane looks a little like Elizabeth Montgomery who played Samantha from Bewitched. Maybe she will end up having an affair with Gavin?

    • I just said the same thing tonight! I thought maybe there was some relation or something. Jane looked just like her this episode.

  20. Hey does 666 Park Avenue take section 8 vouchers?

  21. I asolutely LOVED this show!!! I have a bad feeling it will end up cancelled, but I’m going to continue to watch and hope for higher ratings. It was an awesome show and paired with Revenge (my favorite) it makes for a perfect night. This show was addicting from the first minute, PLEASE keep it going!

  22. There are great actors, but it is slow moving and so far very predictable. Oooooo, there’s a basement with a hidden door where there was a secret society! (cue predictable scary music) Lots of boring gratuitous sex scenes that seem out of place. Terry O’Quinn is perfect for the part, but Vanessa Williams? uh…no.
    It just plods…..along….

  23. What is the music is the orchestra playing when they all go to the concert.

    • Beethoven: symphony nr 7 in A major, op. 92/ 2

      most beautiful with leonard bernstein as the director

  24. 666 Park Avenue has not grabbed in interest in anticipation!
    It”s too weird!

  25. The Show is awesome!!!! Weird is what is in!!!
    I love ABC for taking the risk I am supporting it!!!
    Terry O’Quinn is freaky creepy!!!
    I sense little needful things in this one as well!!!

  26. I can’t wait for this show to be cancelled!!!!

    • Really? I can’t imagine just how bad your taste in television shows is. You should look at a lot of the other shows that ABC promotes with strange characters and dull plots. This show is not missing any of the elements of good entertainment.

  27. This is a great review! I actually agree so much with what you’re saying it’s uncanny, even down to the Devil’s Advocate / The Shining / Rosemary’s Baby references! Very similar views. My blog is over at http://www.blogontherails.blogspot.co.uk/2012/10/666-park-avenue-tvs-most-totally.html and I’d be grateful to hear what you think! Thanks so much.

  28. Finally. A program that I can look forward to watching every week. I haven’ t been this excited since Grey’s Anatomy debuted. This show is riveting & so well acted. Please, please bring this wonderful production into a second season. Your audience deserves it.

  29. Finally. A show I look forward to watching every week. I haven’t been this excited since Grey’s Anatomy debuted. It is absolutely riveting & so well acted. Please, please bring this excellent production into a second season!

    • I agree completely. 666 Park Avenue, Grey’s Anatomy, and Body of proof are all great shows. I look forward to watching them each week!