This is a first look at Ray Donovan the new Showtime drama that premièred on 30 June. I can say from the get-go that Ray Donovan is not a fix for Scandal addicts. Well not this one anyway.
Ray Donovan is billed as a Fixer and he does fix some ish in this first episode entitled The Bag or the Bat but all the real drama surrounds his family and his gangster father in particular. Unlike Olivia Pope who we still know little about after two seasons, Ray Donovan’s private life is all out there in the first 30 minutes.
For instance: Ray (Liev Schreiber) has relocated his family to Los Angeles from the East Coast and his wife and two kids are having a hard time adjusting. His wife makes no bones about bitching about it.
Ray has two brothers Bunchy who was molested by a priest when he was a kid and is now an alcoholic and Terry who runs a boxing gym and has Parkinsons disease. He did have a sister, Bridgette but she jumped off a building whilst high on drugs.
Did I say two brothers? In this episode Ray finds out that he has a black half brother. Terry and Bunchy have known for 10 years but thought to keep it a secret from Ray; of course he’s pissed that they chose to keep it from him. He’s also stunned considering his father’s views on black folks.
The episode opens with Ray’s dad Mikey, played by John Voight leaving prison. On his first stop he pays a visit to a priest, sticks a gun in his mouth and shoots him. We later find out it’s the priest who molested Bunchy. After paying a booty call to his black mistress where they both get down to some tunes, Mikey hops on a plane and relocates to Los Angeles.
Ray is pissed to find out his father is in town and warns his wife to stay away from him and warns his father to stay away from his family. No one’s listening though as Mikey goes to visit Ray’s house when he’s not there and his wife lets him in.
Did he fix anything though?
Outside of the family drama Ray Donovan did manage to fix a couple of things. There was the athlete Dante Brown (played by Mo McRae) who woke up with a dead woman in his bed, just like David Rosen did. Then there was the action hero actor who got seen with a transvestite. Ray’s lawyer boss Lee Drexler (yep he has a boss), has a hissy fit about the actor’s transvestite shenanigans but Ray has a plan.
To make sure all action hero doesn’t’ get labelled a cocks*cker (is this 2013?) they release a story that he woke up with a dead girl in his bed. So the athlete get’s let off and the actor’s fondness for transvestites remains a secret for the moment.
So yes, Ray Donovan seems to be a family drama with some sleazy shenanigans thrown in. There was more to tell but to be honest, some things seemed a bit thrown together and I had a few WTF where are we now moments.
There were a few times I wanted to reach through the screen and poke Liev Schreiber to see if he was still breathing.A client tells Ray “You don’t talk much. It makes you very mysterious.” Er…No it doesn’t. Where Olivia Pope and her team are all snappy fingers and let’s move it people! Ray Donovan is like – I may not look like it but I’m having big emotions here. Where Olivia wears her emotions all over her face, Ray Donovan could be asleep and you wouldn’t know it. I’m just saying. I think he did show some facial movement when he was beating the stalker guy with a baseball bat at the end but I was confused and past caring.
I might tune in next week to see what Ray gets up to but if I miss it, I’ll catch up later. No rush.
As an aside, IMDB have Mo McRae listed as playing Deonte Frasier not Dante Brown. I’m pretty sure, I was paying attention during his scenes but I could be wrong.