|The cast of "Revenge."
Maybe it's the cast. Maybe it's the story. Maybe it's something deeper.
In some ways, Revenge -- which returns for its second season Sunday, on ABC and Citytv -- is a throwback to the heyday of primetime soap operas in the 1980s.
But in other ways, I would argue Revenge is perhaps the most current show on TV today.
Consider: Society never has been more obsessed with celebrities and celebrity culture. What used to be considered gossip now comfortably passes for mainstream entertainment news.
And at the heart of that is a desire to live vicariously through the extreme behaviour of others.
Now, doesn't that sound like the appeal of Revenge to you?
We all fantasize about taking revenge upon our enemies, big or small. We all fantasize about being ridiculously rich. We all fantasize, at least to a certain extent, about living lives of intrigue and mystery and excitement. We all wish we could be this bitchy and this bold.
And yet, in the world in which Revenge exists, these are super serious goings-on. It's life-and-death stuff within the show. It's only from the safety of our living rooms that we truly can enjoy the combination of killers, chaos and camp.
"The campy element of the show is what makes it so appealing," said Canadian actress Emily VanCamp, who plays the lead character in Revenge, Emily Thorne (a.k.a. the real Amanda Clarke). "Because we balance that campy element with great stories, unbelievable writing, and cinematically this show is phenomenal.
"So you have a great quality show in a great time slot and I think great actors, great writers, great directors coming in. And then you add a campy element to that, a soapy element to that, and it adds a whole other genre. It's hard to place exactly what this show is.
"Every single day, Mike (Kelley, creator) is so diligent about finding that balance with these characters, adding just enough campiness, just enough depth, enough vulnerability, enough weight, enough fluff. He just puts it all together in this perfect recipe."
If you're a devotee of Revenge, you know there were multiple cliff-hangers at the end of season one.
"At the opening of season two, she (Emily Thorne/Amanda Clarke) is trying to centre herself," VanCamp said. "She has sort of left the Hamptons for a little while and is trying to refocus, figure out what it is that she actually wants now, because she has so much information.
"She has the information about her father, obviously, but also information about her mother. It almost has inspired a new quest for her, to find her mother and establish some kind of relationship with this person if she is alive. And she happens to have the tools to make that happen, no matter where the mom is, she can find her.
"It all just becomes a lot more clear, but a lot more complicated at the same time."
We would expect nothing less from Revenge, the most modern throwback show on TV.