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October 30, 2014

'Damages' Season 3 Preview: Ripped From the Madoff Headlines

by Bryan Reesman, posted Jan 25th 2010 11:30AM
If you thought the first two seasons of 'Damages' were intense, things get amped up in the season 3 opener.

We won't spoil the shocking surprises, but there's plenty of new cast firepower as well, including Martin Short playing a tough-as-nails lawyer to a Madoff-like family called the Tobins, who are struggling with the fallout of their patriarch's fraudulent activities. Naturally that means plenty of potential sparring time with Patty Hewes (Glenn Close), especially with billions of dollars at stake in the season-long tale. Things will get ugly, which will be fun for the cast and creators.If you thought the first two seasons of 'Damages' were intense, things get amped up in the season 3 opener.

We won't spoil the shocking surprises, but there's plenty of new cast firepower as well, including Martin Short playing a tough-as-nails lawyer to a Madoff-like family called the Tobins, who are struggling with the fallout of their patriarch's fraudulent activities. Naturally that means plenty of potential sparring time with Patty Hewes (Glenn Close), especially with billions of dollars at stake in the season-long tale. Things will get ugly, which will be fun for the cast and creators.

"I think the writers have reached an amazing level," said Close, at a party to promote the 'Damages' Season Two DVD release and season 3 premiere. "It's like they've reached their stride, even though I think the first two [seasons] were amazing. We have such an extraordinary company." She found working on the topical show, which is inspired by real-life news headlines, to be very engaging. "I think it will make people very interested in what our writers do with the subject, and the fact that they are exploring the family dynamic and family politics is good. But the Tobins are definitely not the Madoffs."

While there will be plenty of fighting in her firm, Close's alter ego has to face the situation with her unfaithful husband Phil (Michael Nouri), whose affair revealed last season got him booted out of the house. But will he get the dog? "I think the natural person to get the dog is the guy who's in the doghouse," Nouri said. "And Phil is in the doghouse, so he needs company."



All the cast members claimed to know little about where things are going this season -- or more specifically, how they are going to get to the end foreshadowed by the premiere -- but when asked what he would like to see happen, Nouri replied, "Ongoing conflict would be fine. Resolution is not so interesting, but being on the edge and having ongoing conflict is really interesting. I think it would be great to see some courtroom stuff going on between Patty and Phil, and seeing how this plays out in their relationship [and] what's going to happen with them."

Being on a show that now boasts plenty of comic talent -- including Martin, Lily Tomlin and Ted Danson -- one imagines it's tough to keep a straight face on the set. "Sometimes we break up," Short admitted. "Ultimately there are only so many hours in the day, and you can be laughing away, but the crew's going, 'I hope they're having fun, because I'm not.' So it's kind of focused."

Even though 'Damages' has been embracing comic talents within its edgy drama -- the season 3 premiere possesses some funny undercurrents that offset its dark intensity -- Short said he joined the cast because he was a fan. "I think when you know that whatever you do in front of the camera will be taken and put through a very positively creative funnel for a good end product, then the actor relaxes and has a great time," he explained. "It's when you're worried and think that the person putting the piece together is an idiot and you're afraid to give them anything, that's when it's a drag."

As to whether or not 'Damages' has made Short eager to do more television series work, he replied, "I don't know. I go with the flow. This might be it. This might be my swan song." We're hoping it's not.

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