TV TALK WITH BILL CUSHING – Ray Donovan Another Winner for Showtime


By: Bill Cushing – August, 2013

Showtime’s newest series, Ray Donovan, which premiered on June 30 on the premium cable network looks like another winner.

The show, about a South Boston transplant working as a fixer for the rich and powerful in Hollywood, stars Liev Schreiber as the title character, and Jon Voight playing his father. Created by Ann Biderman, the creator of the brilliant ‘Southland’ looks to have come up with another compelling series here.

Ray is married to Abby (Paula Malcomson) and together that have 2 children. Ray also has 2, but soon he discovers he has 3, brothers.

Ray’s father, Mickey, is getting out of prison in the series premiere, after 20 years, and immediately gets back into a life of crime. Mickey’s reason for being in prison slowly comes out over the course of the season. He sets out for California to insert himself into the life of his children. His sons all allow Mickey back into their lives, except Ray, who threatens to kill him if he comes near his wife and kids.

Ray works for LA powerhouse attorney, Lee Drexler (House’s Peter Jacobson), who calls Ray when he needs something “fixed.” In the first episode, Ray is called in to help out a famous athlete who wakes up next to a dead woman who overdosed on drugs. I won’t spoil it for anyone, but Ray does his job and fixes it so that the athlete’s career isn’t destroyed by this incident.

Meanwhile, Ray also has to deal with his family, who he has moved across the country from Boston to California, and his wife isn’t too thrilled with it. She isn’t quite thrilled with Ray’s job choice for that matter either.

The more I watch this show, the more I can see similarities between Abby and another famous TV wife. Just the scene where Abby bugs Ray to use his connections to get their daughter into a good school has Carmela Soprano written all over it.

Then Ray’s father shows up and that adds another dimension to this story. Ray tells Mickey in no uncertain terms, that if comes near his family, he will kill him. Ray also begs his wife not to allow Mickey into their lives. Needless to say, Mickey doesn’t stay away, and Abby who has been corresponding with Mickey while he was incarcerated, doesn’t heed Ray’s advice either.

Schreiber is compelling as Ray, and Jon Voight gives a tour de force performance as Mickey. These top notch performances, coupled with great writing, a great supporting cast, and seasoned direction make this show appointment viewing.

TV News & Notes

The Emmy nominations were announced on July 18. American Horry Story garnered the most Emmy nominations this year with 17, Game of Thrones had 16, Saturday Night Live – 15, Breaking Bad & 30 Rock – 13, Mad Men, Modern Family, & Downton Abbey – 12, Homeland – 11, and Boardwalk Empire -10.

Veteran actor Dennis Farina, most recently starring in Law & Order, and New Girl, passed away on July 22, at the age of 69.

CBS has renewed Under The Dome for a second season.

AMC announced that The Walking Dead will return October 13.

Glee actor Cory Monteith died on July 13, at the age of 31.

FX announced that Sons of Anarchy will return September 10, with a 90 minute episode.

Bill CushingDo you have any questions about TV? Email me at I will answer all of your questions and will feature some of the questions I receive in a future column.

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