Coaxial

Hercules Says ABC’s
666 PARK AVENUE Bears
The Mark Of The Least!!

Published at: Sept. 30, 2012, 3:50 a.m. CST

A snoozy supernatural anthology about a swanky Manhattan apartment building that seems to owned and operated by Mr. & Mrs. Satan, “666 Park Avenue” comes to us from writer-producer David Wilcox, whose credits include “Law & Order,” “Fringe” and the American “Life On Mars.”

The cast is teeming with actors from recently departed ABC series, among them Terry O’Quinn (“Lost”), Vanessa Williams (“Desperate Housewives’), Dave Annable (“Brothers & Sisters”) and Rachael Taylor (“Charlie’s Angels”).

Will it last longer than ABC’s equally sad failed supernatural dramas “Eastwick” and “The River”? My guess would be nope.

The New York Times says:

… the premiere, at least, hasn’t found a way to make this odd mix of high-end real estate and B-movie occultism compelling enough that you’re eager for more. …

The Los Angeles Times says:

... a mainstream answer to FX's "American Horror Story." Which should not be taken as a pejorative! …

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette says:

... It's just kind of meh and a TV show with a devil at the center should be more fun than that. …

The San Francisco Chronicle says:

... The genius of the show is that while bad things happen, the victims aren't entirely blameless. …

The Washington Post says:

... It’s worth waiting for another few episodes to see if the story clicks. If “666 Park Avenue” makes it that far, then expect it to get a whole lot more convoluted. Maybe the Dorans aren’t demons at all, right? Maybe they’re holding off a larger, Manhattan-swallowing evil by sacrificing their tenants one by one? Or something like that?

The Boston Herald says:

… hard to take seriously. … This property should be condemned.

The Boston Globe says:

... you have what should be the makings of suspense and horror. Except nothing much happens. …

USA Today says:

... if it ends up being more "bore" than "boo," it fails. Which means, while you may enjoy some of the flourishes and be fond of some of the performers, 666 is a failure. …

TV Guide says:

... I wish I could say 666 scared or even spooked me, but the set-up is awfully obvious to an outsider weaned on the genre, and it feels more like a stationary Love Boat anthology geared toward predictably unhappy endings. …

Variety says:

... the formula could become awfully repetitive if the primary characters' story is augmented each week by a "B" plot regarding another resident, which is what transpires in the pilot, and doesn't prove particularly compelling. …

The Hollywood Reporter says:

... The problem with 666 is there's not much mystery to it. If there are greater mysteries -- and there are hints a few exist -- then they're probably not bigger than the one we already know: The devil runs this apartment, and if you make a deal with him, it will end badly. … Perhaps the worst offense by 666 is that it's not even an ounce scary. …

10 p.m. Sunday. ABC.

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Readers Talkback

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  • Sept. 30, 2012, 6:06 a.m. CST

    Wasn't Watching Anyway

    by Waspo

    Between, Homeland, Dexter, Boardwalk Empire, and Sunday Night Football... I have much better choices out there than mid level night time soap melodrama.

  • Sept. 30, 2012, 7:45 a.m. CST

    I was hoping they'd steal most of the look from Rosemary's Baby

    by tangcameo

    I was hoping for Rosemary's Neighbours. Hire somone to play a 21st century Ruth Gordon.

  • Sept. 30, 2012, 8:25 a.m. CST

    Anyone else see Lex Luthor

    by OutsideChance

    ...when they look at O'Quinn in that suit?

  • Sept. 30, 2012, 11:24 a.m. CST

    yeah this has always looked like ass

    by saintsaucey

    I was never gunna watch it

  • Sept. 30, 2012, 11:25 a.m. CST

    They go wrong by trying to last for seven seasons of soap opera.

    by kabong

    Get hot, right from the beginning, and go hard. Pull out all the stops. Every ep should top the preceding.

  • Sept. 30, 2012, 11:47 a.m. CST

    Anyone remember the Malcolm McDowell "Fantasy Island" remake?

    by You Have MY Voice

    Where Mr. Roarke had a hint of a sadistic streak and things had a darker undertone? 666 looks a lot like that, though with more sex and less fun.

  • Sept. 30, 2012, 11:50 a.m. CST

    The show "Supernatural" has spoiled me.

    by Cotton_Mcknight

    Every time I see a show like this, or even a horror movie, I think of how Sam and Dean would handle it. And when I do that, I think to myself, "why not just watch Supernatural instead?", and I turn it off.

  • Sept. 30, 2012, 11:53 a.m. CST

    I never saw the Fantasy Island remake.

    by Cotton_Mcknight

    Not that I am a Fantasy Island purist, but I like how Ricardo Montalbon played him as an ambiguous character. You never knew if he was a good guy or a bad guy. He would help the guests, but you never really knew what his angle was. The remake made it sound like they cut all the subtle tactics and made it clearly obvious that he was Satan, or at least, a devil. Maybe I'm wrong, but that's the impression I got.

  • Sept. 30, 2012, 1:01 p.m. CST

    Eastwick

    by Brody77

    Had a great cast & a lot of potential. I'd love to know where it all kind of fell apart. Studio interference? Bad writing? Paul Gross needs to be back on tv more.

  • Sept. 30, 2012, 1:11 p.m. CST

    Will DVR the premiere, hope it grabs me

    by Nasty In The Pasty

    Person Of Interest was good enough to give me back my weekly dose of Benjamin Linus, so It'd be nice to have a a weekly dose of John Locke again. A shame that "retired CIA agents" TV series they wanted to do together never panned out.

  • Sept. 30, 2012, 1:52 p.m. CST

    Wasn't that DC comics' address?

    by deelzbub

    oop... no that was 666 5th Ave.

  • Sept. 30, 2012, 4:18 p.m. CST

    Sounds like The Devil's Advocate

    by Mugato5150

    Only Al Pacino was a great Satan. Locke, I'm not so sure about.

  • Sept. 30, 2012, 5:48 p.m. CST

    You thought that too, mugato?

    by Bill C.

    Not that Terry O'Quinn couldn't probably rock a pitchfork (maybe he already did--I never saw 'The Stepfather'), and he's probably the only reason I'd give this show a chance, but yeah--unless there's a creepy-as-hell sex offender or something in here I'm probably going to pass.

  • Sept. 30, 2012, 9:35 p.m. CST

    I'd kill to have that "Fantasy Island" remake on DVD.

    by Darkman

    God willing, things won't get that far. <br><br> Watching it now. Kind of slow, but not unpromising.

  • Sept. 30, 2012, 9:51 p.m. CST

    So...some chick was crushed (killed?) by an elevator.

    by Darkman

    I feel like I have to keep watching to see if it can match that kind of goofiness.

  • Sept. 30, 2012, 9:56 p.m. CST

    kabong: no, that's how we got AHS

    by mrgray

    If you don't give the horror time to build, then you're just throwing crazy stupid shit that makes no sense at the screen. AKA: American Horror Story.

  • Sept. 30, 2012, 10:46 p.m. CST

    Actually find it more fun than I expected

    by JacksParasites

    Sure, this could get very repetitive and the initial premise isn't very original, but I'm fine with a mostly anthology show about the tenants of this apartment with an evolving central narrative involving the new managers as a through line if the anthology the anthology stories are well written and the A-plot surprises live up to those on Quinn's previous show. First episodes are difficult because there's a lot of setup work that has to be done. Of the new shows this season that I've checked out so far (Last Resort, Elementary, and Revolution), this one is the first that feels like there could be enough story to actually run a few seasons. And it has the most potential for fun genre stories, and most potential to improve because it leaves the most room for different writers to play with the infinite number of possibilities afforded by the show's basic premise. Imagine what a Ron Serling or a Harlan Ellison or a DC Fontana could write within this world? What if Joss Whedon were given the opportunity to write a single episode? Or Jane Espenson? Or the future greats that haven't been discovered yet. All I'm saying is that this is a show where great genre writers could flourish if given the chance. The premise offers endless possibilities so the success or failure of this show entirely rests on the writing.

  • ...but no talk about ALEXIS from this show?? Her name is Helena Mattsson, by the way. Google her. You won't be disappointed.

  • Oct. 1, 2012, 3:10 a.m. CST

    jacksparasites, I was gonna pass on this ...

    by reaper28

    but yeah if they do it right and find good writers there is a lot of story potential here ... I'll give it a few eps (if it lasts that long)

  • Oct. 1, 2012, 7:55 a.m. CST

    General comments ... @jacksparasites

    by D_T

    **spoilers** Watched it last night, figured we'd give it a shot. The wife and I had the same response at the end: not great, but not bad ... shows some potential. It was fun seeing TOQ having a good time with the role (that HUGE smile after they signed at the end was terrific!) We're fans of American Horror Story and Walking Dead, and like reviewers have already written, it's a little hampered by network TV limits vs. both of those, that being said, you don't have to show women being humped by a gimp or zombie decapitations to be sexual or intense, just a little more creative :D Kind of thought they tipped their hand a little early with the supernatural angle - the violinist getting sucked through the door panel - which made me chuckle (that bit always reminds me of the ending of Nightmare on Elm Street). The backstory is a bit interesting, the side stories somewhat inconsistent. I kind of hope they play up the dark humor a little and have fun with it, if it gets too serious with itself, it'll start playing like a parody. @jacksparasites Like you, I'd love to see them tap into some "guest writer" talent. Shows like this are great because they can use a team of staff writers, but any external writer can come in, and easily write a one off story with a new tenant story. They should give Neil Gaiman a call :)

  • Oct. 1, 2012, 8:25 a.m. CST

    The Philadelphia Daily News says

    by Dr. Hfuhruhurr

    The pilot for "666" piles the horrors so high, it begins to seem more tedious than terrifying.

  • Oct. 1, 2012, 10:33 a.m. CST

    I am willing to give any Horror anthology series a shot

    by angry kitty

    If it helps pave the way for series like Tales from the Darkside to return to tv. I miss that. I NEED it to return. Dammit!

  • Oct. 1, 2012, 11:41 a.m. CST

    Did the Washington Post reviewer just see "Cabin in the Woods"?

    by tonagan

    And Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, your use of "meh" really screams professionalism.

  • Oct. 1, 2012, 11:44 a.m. CST

    It's not an "anthology"

    by BruceVain

    It's a serial drama, with continuing characters and everything. Just more vocabulary-related confusion fostered by Ain't It Illiterate News.

  • Oct. 1, 2012, 12:04 p.m. CST

    This shit lost me with Vanessa Williams.

    by Sebastion Envi

  • Perhaps future episodes will say differently, but from that first episode I found it to be as much an anthology series as CSI. Makes me wonder then what Hercules meant by "snoozy" (also makes me wonder if he even watched the show).

  • Yeah, I didn't watch his Hawaii Five-0 episodes but him playing Satan? Count me in to watch. After getting the whole thing on bit torrent when the season ends. But will definitely check this out. In May 2013ish, probably.

  • So say we all.

  • Oct. 2, 2012, 4:46 p.m. CST

    This is a way better show than Revolution.

    by happybunni