It being the low season I had the chance to do some serious binge watching of the TV over the weekend. And one of my favourite shows is Ray Donovan. I love it beyond words!
For those of you who have never seen it, the programme revolves around the eponymous character (hero?), played by Liev Schreiber who is a fixer for the rich and shameless in Los Angeles. He´s a thug with a brain who is a long way from his roots in South Boston. But it seems he can´t get away from them.
The other main characters in the show are Ray´s family; wife and children, brothers and his father Mickey, played awesomely by Jon Voight. To describe everyone and everything in the show as dysfunctional would do the word a disservice. Child abuse by catholic priests, murder, sex, prostitution, extortion, violence, sexual assault, prejudice, and appalling language. And that´s just in the “previously…” before the credits role.
But the characters have a reality and solidity to them. They do stupid things, but they are consistent to themselves. And with my somewhat unusual life and background I am able to say with absolute honesty that some form of the characters pretty much exist in real life!
And they have fun and play with the conceits. Ray dashing home to stop his daughter saying something stupid to a police officer does a “Seinfeld slide” through the front door and then takes half a beat to put his cool back in place. The ex-Mossad agent who works for Ray isn’t a superman. Though you wouldn’t like him to meet you when you came home.
And the casting is superb and normally against type. Jon Voight as a Boston bank robber and drug dealer? Sherilyn Fenn (Twin Peaks) as a dumpy housewife? Hank Azaria as a psychotic murdering senior FBI Special Agent? Perfect.
And without any spoilers, one of the major plot lines in the latest series is Mickey (Jon Voight) finding himself running an LA escort service. Now as I run some the best escorts services in Marbella and am great friends with the finest escort agency in Ibiza I normally can´t watch fictional depictions of the industry. (Though Secret Diary of a London Call Girl made me laugh).
Some of this particular plot-line in Ray Donovan is irritating. Hookers and cocaine? Again? But some of it so familiar that I cried laughing.
A fetish client requires an adult nappy and fresh breast milk at an hour´s notice? Yep, been there in Marbella. The gang of nerds who get way out of their depth after a little coaxing? An average August weekend in Ibiza. Escort girls who blow hot and cold for no reason (pun intended) with no notice or reason? Oh goodness me, never! Escorts who you have moved heaven and earth for and treated like family who tell you after they have left that they decided to up sticks and leave you in the lurch without a moments notice? Heaven forfend.
So, if you get the chance to check out Ray Donovan, you should. It´s engaging and entertaining in the way that only US shows with big budgets and great writers can be these days.