Synopsis by Hal Erickson
Several of the production people responsible for The Sopranos were also behind the equally quirky FX network series Damages. Glenn Close, who'd been asked to star in this series on the strength of her work as police captain Monica Rawling on another FX offering, The Shield, was cast as barracuda-like Manhattan power attorney Patty Hewes. As ruthless and calculating as the high-profile criminals that she went after in court, Patty spent most of the series' first season pursuing a class-action suit against billionaire Arthur Frobisher (Ted Danson), a shady Ken Lay-style corporate CEO. It was clear from the get-go that Frobisher was willing to do anything to stop Patty in her tracks, possibly even including ordering a few murders. The first-season storyline literally began at the end, as Patty's idealistic protégée Ellen Parsons (Rose Byrne), half-naked and caked with blood, ran through the streets of New York (were the show was filmed) and made a beeline for her office, where her first words were "I need a lawyer!" The rest of the season built up to this crucial moment, with what series creator Todd Kessler described as the inevitability of a Greek tragedy. (It was planned for Patty Hewes to handle a different case in each successive season, each introduced with a similarly tantalizing "teaser.") Throughout the drama, the thin line between "hero" and "villain" grew progressively thinner, in the tradition of The Shield. In addition to Glenn Close and Rose Byrne, the regular cast included Tate Donovan as Patty's much-maligned subordinate Tom Shayes and Zeljko Ivanek as sly defense attorney Ray Fiske. Debuting July 24, 2007, on FX, Damages was also briefly carried by MyNetwork TV beginning August 1 of that year.