Damages

Damages
Wednesday 23 January. 8.30pm

During her celebrated career, Glenn Close has played her fair share of villains: she was Marquise de Merteuil in Dangerous Liaisons, Cruella De Vil in 101 Dalmations; and gave a tour-de-force performance as a woman scorned in Fatal Attraction. But she insists high-powered attorney Patty Hewes, her character in Damages, which concludes tonight at 8.30pm on TV ONE, isn’t all bad.

“I’ve played people that have been labeled as evil; [but] I don’t think they’re evil. Cruella de Vil is evil, because she’s the devil. [In] all the other characters, I have been able to find a common humanity with them somewhere, knowing where they’re most fragile, where they’re most vulnerable, knowing some of the things that happened to them might have formed this kind of behaviour. So, I do not think Patty is evil. I don’t think she’s even a hero in her own mind. I think she’s very vulnerable, as far as her son is concerned. I think she’s very conflicted, and I really like that about her.”
Intimidation, espionage and even murder have come into play as Patty Hewes has pursued a class-action suit representing 5,000 employees against the tycoon (Ted Danson) who allegedly cheated them out of their pensions. The five-time Oscar nominee has given her character the perfect mix of ruthlessness and compassion that always leaves viewers doubting her motives. Co-creator Todd A. Kessler who, as an ex-producer on The Sopranos, is no stranger to dark protagonists says, “Patty is not someone to be f—ed with, and Glenn brings that to every scene. We knew we were going to need someone who could show up and seem larger-than-life. And the truth is, there aren’t a lot of actors who can bring that kind of force and power. But she does”.

Patty’s ruthlessness also brings out a few changes in her protégé Ellen Parsons (Rose Bryne). “I think over the course of these various episodes that Patty, whether she’ll fully admit it or not, develops a respect for Ellen’s talents and for who she is as a human being,” says Close. “I don’t think Patty considers herself a great mentor. I think she’s too competitive for that. And I think there are certain things about Ellen, her youth for one thing, that she has no tools to compete against. I think she’s always kind of hovering between developing her or nurturing her and making sure she’s not going to invade her territory. So I think it makes a very kind of juicy relationship.”

Close had no qualms about making the transition to television for the role of Patty. “For me it’s simply because you’re given a great role. There used to be a huge snobbism between the film industry and the television industry. What should make someone decide whether they want to do something or not is the quality of the writing and the people involved, not whether it’s a film or television. And I also have always felt that television has a huge potential for the kinds of audiences that some films would never dream or ever be able to have. So that potential is very exciting to me.”

In the final episode of Damages, Ellen uses the Malina videotape to fight the charges that she killed her fiancé and Patty engineers a confrontation with Frobisher that brings the lawsuit to a dramatic conclusion.

Damages Wednesday 16 January, 8.30pm

TV ONE’s drama series Damages has received four Golden Globe nominations, including the sought-after Best Television Series. Glenn Close, who plays the hard-nosed lawyer Patty Hewes, was nominated for the Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series, while Ted Danson was nominated as Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role for his character Arthur Frobisher, and Rose Byrne received a nomination for Best Actress in a Supporting Role for the feisty Ellen Parsons.

On tonight’s Damages (at 8.30pm on TV ONE) Ellen Parsons (Byrne) refuses to return to work for Patty Hewes (Close), but agrees to return to press Moore (Peter Riegert) for more evidence suggesting that he helped Frobisher avoid conviction in a criminal trial. Meanwhile, as he’s looking for an attorney to handle his divorce, Frobisher (Danson) is angered to learn that Moore is cooperating with Patty.
Elsewhere, as Ellen considers her career options and returns to planning her wedding, she and David find they are being stalked by Lila Demeo.

Damages Wednesday 5 December, 8.30pm

Damages tonight sees the case pushing Ellen and David’s relationship to a breaking point, while Gregory Malina comes under increasing pressure to testify (at 8.30pm on TV ONE).

After insisting that David (Noah Bean) join her for dinner with Patty (Glenn Close) and her husband, Ellen (Rose Byrne) blindsides Gregory Malina (Peter Facinelli) with a request that he agree to answer questions about his relationship with Frobisher (Ted Danson). But when he resists, Ellen makes it clear that he has 24 hours to agree to talk voluntarily before he faces a subpoena.
Although his relationship with Ellen has become increasingly strained as a result of the Frobisher case, David is still wary about meeting with the daughter of a patient who has requested he come to her father’s apartment. Meanwhile, as Frobisher looks to burnish his reputation by hiring writer George Berber (Josh Pais) to pen his autobiography, Malina is warned to stick closely to the story concocted for him about what happened five years earlier in Florida.

Despite Ellen’s efforts to keep things civil, David’s surly attitude at dinner helps Patty see that things are not well with the soon-to-be-wed couple. As she and David are arguing, Ellen gets a call from Malina asking to meet. But at their clandestine rendezvous, Malina worries that he’s being followed by Frobisher’s goons and leaves Ellen no alternative but to draw up a subpoena and force him to talk. Meanwhile, David narrowly avoids getting drawn into an affair. Patty warns Ellen about marrying a man who is reluctant to take control of the relationship.

Damages
Saturday 10 November, 9.45pm

If you missed the first screening of Damages on Wednesday night, you can catch up with the special repeat viewing on TV ONE tonight, at 9.45pm. Following tonight, Damages will continue at the weekly time of Wednesday, at 8.30pm on TV ONE.

Damages Wednesday 7 November, 8.30pm

Glenn Close and Ted Danson star in TV ONE’s new drama series Damages, starting tonight at 8.30pm. The series delves deep into the intrigue swirling around an ambitious new lawyer Ellen Parsons (Rose Bryne), who becomes entwined in a tangle of deceit after she is head-hunted by ruthless litigator Patty Hewes (Close), whose sights are set on bringing down a powerful billionaire (Danson).

With a dramatic beginning to the first episode, Damages sees Ellen Parsons running bloodied through the streets of New York in a state of shock, holding a business card that reads on the back “I was warned”, the series then backtracks six months to recall the sequence of events that led to that point.
Upon graduating from law school, Ellen is ready to put her newfound expertise to work in New York City. The young lawyer is in hot demand, but when word gets out that she has been invited to interview at Hewes & Associates, she loses a lucrative offer. Courted by Hewes & Associates, Ellen refuses to bow to Patty Hewes’ demand that she schedule an interview at the same time as her sister’s wedding. However, impressed by how this new lawyer has stuck to her guns, Patty shows up at the wedding to offer Ellen the job.

At Hewes & Associates, Ellen quickly learns the ropes – and of the rigour of the job – from Patty’s trusted lieutenant, Tom Kent (Tate Donovan, The O.C.), before being put to work on a civil suit targeting Arthur Frobisher (Ted Danson, Becker), a billionaire businessman accused of an illegal stock sale that saved his own fortune but bankrupted his employees and swindled them out of their pensions.

Ignoring efforts to settle out of court by the tycoon’s cunning lawyer, Ray Fiske (Zeljko Ivanek, Black Hawk Down), Patty senses the chance for a big win that will send a costly message to Frobisher, while satisfying her clients and making her richer. But Patty’s actions could put Ellen in terrible danger.

In an interview with tvguide.com, Glenn Close says her character is quickly shown to be the sharpest person in the room. “She’s a woman at the top of her own law firm, who has no peer within her company. She is a master manipulator. Sometimes it’s for the good, and sometimes it’s just for the power.

Dirty tricks – intimidation, espionage, and even murder – are employed during the civil case against the tycoon along the way – some seemingly on behalf of the ‘good’ guys.

Damages premieres tonight at 8.30pm on TV ONE with a two-hour special.