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Who's still watching 'Damages'?

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Damage_l

Damage_lIn the midst of all the new network fare that’s clogging myDVR right now — Moonlight: To watch or to delete? — there’s one drama that’sgot me so addicted, I prefer to watch it live: Damages. The weird thing is,though, I don’t know anyone else who’s got such strong feelings for F/X’stwisted legal drama. In fact, I don’t know anyone who’s watching it at all.

If you’ve been missing out on the series — and its Emmy-worthywork from Željko Ivanek, Ted Danson, and Glenn Close (pictured) — FX is running a 12-episodemarathon this Saturday, October 20, starting at 8 a.m. EDT (as a run-up to theOct. 23 finale). Otherwise, let’s dish our feelings on the show in aspoiler-sensitive arena — after the jump.

Okay, so all season long, I’ve felt ambivalent about Ellen’sdrippy fiancé David (Noah Bean), so it took me by surprise when his deathscene this week proved so heartbreaking. When those goons dragged him into thebathroom — then ominously shut the door — I felt both nauseous and choked-up.Which took some pretty remarkable writing, acting, and direction, considering we’veknown the guy was doomed since episode one. Also, this may be an admission ofhow gullible I am, but it never occurred to me — not even for a second — thatkindly Hollis Nye (Philip Bosco) might be in cahoots with Frobisher. Was his end-of-episodephone call a red herring, or is this dude truly, deeply eeeevil? Finally, it’sbeen fascinating to watch Frobisher’s descent from a conflicted man with theluxury of a conscience — remember when he railed against the idea of havingKatie killed off? — to a desperate, cornered animal who’ll (seemingly) doanything to survive this lawsuit. Danson was amazing this week in that scenewhere he brushed off Ray’s widow while simultaneously taking a cellphone call. 

That said, if Damages gets renewed for a second season —it’s still on the fence, according to John Landgraf, president of FX — I reallyhope the writers don’t try to simplify its format to improve ratings (an ideathat’s floated in this Los Angeles Times article). I’d be fine if Patty moved onto a different case — though I’d miss Danson — maybe even found another youngattorney to destroy, but Damages‘ greatest strength is in its protracted,sometimes far-fetched, but always riveting story arcs. I’d rather see FX pullthe plug after 13 episodes than turn it into a cookie-cutter, “trial ofthe week” affair. How ’bout you guys?