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Primetime Picks… 11/7/17

Nov 07 Posted by in Features | Comments

Tonight USA Network premieres the new period drama Damnation. The series is set in 1931. Rich bankers have colluded to fix prices at the local grocery stores, which is hurting the farmers of Holden, Iowa. The farmers band together to block shipments of food into town, but they are facing increased pressure. Helping to lead the revolt is preacher Seth Davenport (Killian Scott, Ripper Street) and his wife Amelia (Sarah Jones, The Path). However, there is something about these two that just doesn’t seem quite right—they seem to be hiding some secrets surrounding their past. As Seth riles up the farmers, Amelia tries to convince the young new newspaper reporter, DL Sullivan (Joe Adler, Grey’s Anatomy), to cover the injustices being faced by the people of Holden instead of the fluff pieces he’s been assigned to.

Meanwhile, the industrialist tycoons have hired strikebreakers like Pinkerton agent Creeley Turner (Logan Marshall-Greene, Quarry) to put a swift end to the revolt, even if that means violence. The Wyoming cowboy quickly makes his presence known as he arrives in town, and soon after, he teams up with local prostitute Bessie Louvin (Chasten Harmon, Elementary). His actions also catch the attention of corrupt sheriff/speakeasy owner Don Berryman (Christopher Heyerdahl, Van Helsing). Nearby, deadly strikebreaker Connie Nunn (Melinda Page Hamilton, Mad Men), of the rival William J. Burns Detective Agency, also arrives on the scene, but she is harboring an ulterior motive—to hunt down the man who killed her husband.

The series comes from executive producers Tony Tost (Longmire), James Mangold (Logan), Guymon Casady (Game of Thrones) and Daniel Rappaport (Office Space). It feels more like a premium cable drama than something that would air on a basic cable channel like USA Network. The production value is really high, and I found the pilot to be really entertaining. It sets up a very detailed and interesting world, revealing just enough about each character to let you know what’s going on, but leaving you curious to learn more about these people and what they are hiding. I’m definitely looking forward to checking out more episodes. Outside of the U.S., the series will air on Netflix, which co-produces the series. I’m curious to see if the series will be edited at all when it airs on USA Network (in the premiere there are quite a few F-bombs).

In tonight’s premiere, “Sam Riley’s Body”, a farmer’s strike in Holden, Iowa, led by local preacher Seth Davenport escalates; and a vicious man from his past named Creeley Turner is sent to restore order.

I’ll also be watching/recording The Middle, Fresh Off the Boat, blackish, The Mayor, Kevin (Probably) Saves the World, This Is Us, The Mick, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, The Flash, and American Horror Story: Cult.

For additional suggestions on what to check out tonight, including Brooklyn Nine-Nine, DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, and Lethal Weapon, check out the If We Controlled Your Remote… 11/7/17 post at TVisMyPacifier.com.