I just found the show to take me to January 10!*
Upon the recommendation of a friend, I watched the first two episodes of the FX show Damages. It's about a tough lawyer named Patty Hewes (played by Glenn Close) and her young associate, Ellen Parsons (played by Rose Byrne). The first season involves Ted Danson getting sued for pulling a Martha Stewart and Glenn Close leading the prosecution. All the while, there is a murder mystery: Who killed Ellen's fiance?
Damages didn't hit me right away. About halfway into the pilot, I said to my fiance, "I don't know about this show." I had a similar reaction to Vampire Diaries--a slow pilot with too much backstory crammed into the first half-hour (why should we care about the characters' backstory when we don't even care about the characters yet?). And like Vampire Diaries, Damages starts to build and build, and before you know it, you're hooked.
What I like most about the show is all the secrets. Everyone, with the exception of Ellen's soon-to-be-dead fiance, is shady in their own way. I thought the blond sister-in-law would be dull as dishwater, but she's turning out to be quite a little sneak. I thought the guy from The O.C. (played by Tate Donovan) was done for, but he's still around to do Glenn Close's bidding. And Glenn Close herself is one scary boss.
If I can nitpick, I will say Damages does something annoying that all shows do: Have characters end phone calls WITHOUT SAYING GOODBYE. Listen up, Writers Guild of America. Most of us do not end a phone conversation with a meaningful statement followed by a wistful smile. Most of us do not agree on something and then simultaneously hang up. Instead, we have sometimes awkward goodbyes that go on for too long, such as the following exchange I often have with my own sister:
Me: All right. I'll talk to you--
Sister: Okay. Bye--
Me: Bye for now--
Sister: Talk to you--
*Two words: Chuck. Premiere.