I really don’t understand Showtime’s programming. They rarely have any original movies, and besides from Homeland and maybe Penny Dreadful, there is really nothing worth watching ─ that is, until Ray Donovan appeared.
Creator Ann Biderman brings to Showtime one of the most eclectic group of characters that we have seen since the Sopranos. The plot revolves around former Bostonite Ray Donovan (Liev Scheiber) and his family. Ray has uprooted his family from Boston, where some bad things have happened, and brought them to L.A. where he works as a “fixer.” What does a “fixer” do? Movie actors get caught in compromising postions; pro athletes get arrested for dope; politicians are exposed in graft ─ the list goes on and on ─ Ray fixes it. And Ray is well paid for what he does. His wife Abby (Paula Malcomson) and two children really don’t seem to care what he does; all they really know is that they are living the highlife.
Now here is where we get to the crux of the plot: Ray’s father Mickey (Jon Voight) was involved in a serious misdeed in Boston and has done twenty years in the Big House (this is the reason Ray has moved his family away). Ray has two brothers, Terry (Eddie Marson) and Bunchy (Dash Mihok) who work out of boxing gym where their half brother Daryll (Pooch Hall) works out, and all of them seem to have adjusted to their new life ─ until Mickey shows up.
I don’t want to give away too much of the plot, but the interaction between Ray and Mickey is absolutely priceless. Jon Voight has essentially resurrected his career playing the nefarious Mickey, and his performance alone makes the show worth watching. The series is dramatic, violent, and very funny. This is five-star stuff.
Reviewer’s Note: Jon Voight won a Golden Globe for season 1.
Season 2 has just begun, so if you have missed season 1, you can catch it on “On Demand.” Don’t miss it.