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They’re not standing around the watercooler, but Cheryl Sadler, Mark Meszoros, Mark Podolski and Nicole Franz are talking about what they’ve been watching, listening to and playing during their free time.

Friday, January 9, 2009

'Damages' draws you in

"Damages" (Wednesdays, 10 p.m., FX) debuted its second season this week and if this installment of TV’s most clever drama is as good as the first, FX has a blockbuster on its hands.

FX made its way into the TV mainstream with hits such as "The Shield," "Nip/Tuck" and "Rescue Me," but "Damages" is its best effort to date.

The show stars Glenn Close, one of the most underrate actresses of our generation, who is back as the cold-as-ice lawyer Patty Hewes. Also returning is the up-and-coming Rose Byrne, who plays Hewes’ right-hand woman Ellen Parsons, but that relationship was seriously put to the test in the first season. Also back is Ted Danson, who is wonderful as the equally cold-as-ice billionaire Arthur Frobisher, who Hewes took on in lawsuit storyline that had stirring twists, turns and surprises without the courtroom drama.

This season, Hewes has a new case on her hands, Daniel Purcell, played by William Hurt. The new character no doubt holds secrets to Hewes’ past, and when Purcell’s wife is murdered in the season premiere, Hewes decides to help her old friend (or lover?).

With Close, Byrne, Hurt and Danson and host of others including Marcia Gay Harden, who debuts in season 2 as Hewes' new rival, the cast is easily one of the best on TV. With storylines some network dramas could only wish for and jolts seemingly every half-hour, "Damages" is show that should be right at the top of your DVR list, if it isn’t already.

One tip: If you’re coming in late to "Damages," it’s imperative to catch up with season 1. Simply put, you will be lost. Believe me, catching up from the beginning is worth it.

- Mark Podolski


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