Take Olivia Pope, relocate her to La-La Land, quadruple her intensity, cut her dialogue output in half and, oh yeah, make her look like Liev Schreiber — that, in a nutshell, is Showtime’s wildly entertaining, impeccably cast Ray Donovan.
The series, which bowed Sunday night and hails from Southland creator Ann Biderman, centers on Schreiber’s South Boston transplant Donovan, a “fixer” who miraculously makes the problems of Hollywood’s rich and famous disappear before they get leaked to TMZ. (On R.D.’s series-premiere plate: helping a basketball MVP rid a dead woman from his bed and convincing the world that an A-list action star is straight.)
And then there’s Ray’s complicated, Sopranos-esque personal life.
While he’s in Los Angeles tending to business, his wife (played by the predictably sensational Paula Malcomson) is stuck in the ‘burbs caring for their two children and generally being suspicious of her husband’s mysterious, often dangerous, occasionally adulterous extracurricular activities.
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His immediate family also includes two brothers — the Parkinson’s-afflicted boxer-turned-gym-owner Terry and the drug-addled child abuse survivor Bunchy — and, most notably, his estranged, foul-mouthed thug of a father Mickey (next year’s supporting actor Emmy frontrunner Jon Voight). Daddy dearest has just been sprung from prison after two decades — five years ahead of schedule — and, much to Ray’s horror, he’s keen on getting to know his grandkids.
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