ABC’s new series 666 Park Avenue begins in a thunderous setting filmed in the historic Williamsburg, Brooklyn. A man is seen dashing into a building at address “999” against a shaded and spooky silhouette of the number 666. He runs upstairs and takes a call. All of this is depicted in the opening scene at The Drake, which we learn is located at 666 Park Avenue.
The deep, commanding and hostile voice on the other end of the phone asks him to pay up. The setting has all the trappings of a Vincent Price drama in the middle of New York City. In addition, the address itself provides viewers with a clue that evil will be lurking at various points in the show. The ultimate question in the minds of viewers is whether or not evil will prevail and at what cost to the innocent residents of The Drake.
Next, Mr. and Mrs. Henry Martin enter the same address in search of a job managing The Drake. Henry (David Annable) worked previously at a responsible position for the Mayor and Jane (Rachelle Taylor) has impressive knowledge of building construction.
Both have the outgoing personality, charm, physical strength, and appearance to work at such an exclusive building with rich clients, and in an environment characterized by pricey and avant garde fashion. Their job would involve managing The Drake, a circa 1923 apartment building with 388 residents and constant traffic in and out. The clientele is upscale in every sense of the word.
At first, Gavin, the owner (played by Terry O’Quinn) has reservations about the lack of experience the couple has in building maintenance. Jane provides an impressive pitch which allays concerns, and the couple is shown entering a palatial apartment 3B with two bathrooms and multiple fireplaces. The apartment is just one of the many accoutrements of their job at The Drake. Everything appears to be perfect for the couple except for the evil which lurks at a moment’s
One of Jane’s earliest encounters with residents is a surprise meeting with Mr. John Barlow, who is shown with bloodied hands, and later in the episode seen hastily washing off the blood. In a quick flash, his hands appear to have no visible wounds after washing. Mr. Barlow is an accountant and a recent widower. The audience is left pondering whether or not John has had a hand in his wife Mary’s death. This scene sets up an unresolved issue in the minds of viewers.
There is high drama around John’s wife Mary coming back to life briefly. The price of her remaining seems to be taking the life of another. And so, a deal with the devil appears to be in the offing. Again, this scene sets up another brush with evil. Viewers are left with an open question as to whether or not Mary will be kept alive in exchange for killing other people.
The action in the show shifts to Jane who is depicted as a methodical and hard working employee. She hurries about The Drake with a pen and pad in order to document what needs fixing. Later on, Jane is seen examining an unusual fresco of a dragon embedded onto the basement floor. A trip to the library yields more information about the address. Research establishes that the insignia is a 1927 Order of the Dragon.
After the scene at the library, Jane gets locked inside the stairwell with a woman appearing to flee down the stairs below her. She follows the woman down the stairwell and witnesses her step off the ledge of the building. Next, Jane is awakened surprisingly while in bed with her husband, Henry.
That day, the owners, Gavin and Olivia Duran (Terry O’Quinn and Vanessa Williams) are impressed with the young couple and the two are asked to sign a contract to stay at The Drake for a year. They are told that the management wants the building fully restored. And so, the first episode of 666 Park Avenue ends.
The music and storyline employed in 666 Park Avenue is very engaging. The characters are chic. The daily activities seem to center around unique dramas that play out in surprising ways. On occasion, evil nuances pop up to whet the
appetites of viewers and leave unresolved issues for a resolution in subsequent shows.
The audience is challenged to keep up with the rationale behind this interesting presentation. If subsequent shows are anything like this one, there will be a constant stream of unresolved dramas and forceful opera music accompanied by the throbbing of the classic tintinnabulation of Poe – like bells. Stay tuned.