Question: Not only do I think Damages was the best new show to air this summer, I now have to say it is the best show on television! I usually can't stand it when shows do flashbacks, then revert to real time and go back and forward again. But Damages does it so well, and that device makes its stories all the more compelling. Here's my question, though: Will Damages be back for a second season? I ask because they have killed off so many of their major players; will enough cast members be left to do a second season, and if so, what storyline could they possibly come up with next? Glenn Close's performance is out-of-the-park superb. Most times Patty is cold, calculating, vindictive, cruel (remember the doggie?) and downright nasty. (Didn't we all love it when Ellen told her off and even again last week when she declined to come back to the firm?) That makes it all the more compelling when we see even the slightest humanity or compassion from her. She is riveting. Also, I've been a fan of Zeljko Ivanek dating back to Oz. His work is simply the best. (How did he get us to feel sorry for Ray, even though Ray was essentially involved in Gregory's death?) It's rare to find such outstanding acting married with a script that is equally brilliant (loved the way, for example, Patty said to Ray, "Don't you just love dogs"). As an attorney, I cringe about the light this show casts on my profession, but Patty was spot-on in some ways when she said, "But Ray, we attorneys always survive; it's the clients who may not." It sounded like what people say about cockroaches being able to survive a nuclear holocaust! Damages has filled my Sopranos/Rome/Deadwood void, and how! But will it be back for more?
Answer: We've reported that the show has unofficially been renewed, but as of my deadline, that had yet to be confirmed. I know it has been touch-and-go for a while, because the ratings have been a disappointment considering the caliber of cast and writing. I would love to see a second season, but without knowing what transpires in next week's finale, I'm as baffled as you about what that would even be like. Who'll be left standing to carry a second season? Would Ellen be working on the opposite side of Patty on a new season-long case? Would the show become more episodic and less serialized (a format that may have damaged it in the long run)? Who knows? I've gone back and forth on this issue since the series premiered, but I'm wondering now if we might all have been better off thinking of Damages the same way we looked at Showtime's Sleeper Cell: as an extended miniseries that may or may not produce sequels.