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'Damages' worth viewing

February 11, 2013 - Mike Donahey
Before starring as the patrician Helen in “Bridesmaids” Rose Bryne was collecting Emmy and Golden Globe nominations for her role as attorney Ellen Parsons in “Damages” — an intense legal thriller that concluded its five-year run on DirectTV last year.

“Damages” is now on Netflix.

Byrne co-stars with the award-winning Glenn Close, who portrays Patty Hewes — the principal in a New York City law firm. Hewes is a smart, tough as nails attorney who will do anything to win. She is unique — Hewes takes on cases for the poor and unrepresented that other firms ignore. However, blackmail, bribery, coercion, and murder — all are in play when Hewes is involved. But Hewes is clever — either underlings or others do the dirty work so that she remains insulated.

Also starring at different times throughout the show's run were Ted Danson, Marcia Gay Harden, William Hurt, Martin Short, and and Lily Tomlin.

If one is looking for a Helen-type figure in “Damages” it isn’t there. Byrne starts out as a bright, eager first-year law student hired by Hewes.

In the first season, Parsons quickly realizes she was hired only because of her link to a key witness in a multi-million dollar case managed by Hewes’s firm. Hewes quickly realizes how talented Parsons is and unsuccessfully tries to break up the engagement between Parsons and her doctor boyfriend. She almost succeeds — but there is more.

Beginning in the first season and throughout the second season the once-innocent Parsons — who believed in the law and justice — becomes jaded and finds herself becoming like Hewes. Yours truly just watched the season finale of season two — so I’m eager to finish it up.

The show is known for its portrayal of cases which run season-long, and one gets a perspective of the principals from many different angles. “Damages” was created and produced by Daniel Zellman, Todd Kessler and Glenn Kessler.



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