It must be my lot in life to favor the sinfully decadent over what others consider to be more suitable, healthy or socially acceptable. I'm the guy who listens to Top 40 on the radio. I read glitzy, trashy fiction by Jackie Collins and the late Sidney Sheldon and my fave TV shows are generally referred to as "guilty pleasures." I admit it, I don't like to sit around reading, thinking about and/or looking at a bunch of poor people on television (Okay, unless its Roseanne, Good Times or Shameless!) — that's what donations are for.
Rest assured, I don't experience so much as a pang of guilt as I type this sentence — the best webisoap currently in production, The SFN's DeVanity, airs its Season 2 finale tonight and I am just as excited about it as I was the big murder reveal on Revenge a few week's back!
From the wonderfully warped and wanton mind of Michael Caruso (who also stars in the series as jewelry mogul Jason DeVanity), DeVanity is a high camp, illicitly-dysfunctional, over-the-top soap operatic treat. Centered on the lives, loves and scandalous business dealings of a family of adopted siblings—Jason (Caruso), Bianca (Katie Caprio), Jackie (Erin Buckley) and Byron (Jason Christopher)—DeVanity manages to excel in driving intense, fast-paced, well-threaded and generally outlandish story threads from scene to scene, episode to episode.
So far this season (SPOILER ALERT), Jason has had to deal with the presumed death of his best friend/brother-in-law Alex Roth (Mike Dirksen); his sister/Alex's widow, Bianca, marrying Andrew Regis (Days of Our Lives and The Bold and the Beautiful alum Kyle Lowder) — the man who's trying to wrest control of the DeVanity dynasty; Alex's unexpected return from the dead; Jason's other sister Jackie marrying the doctor his deliciously malevolent wife Lara ( break out star Alexis Zibolis) paid to render her sister-in-law sterile and his perverted brother Byron—now an amnesiac after Lara shot him in the face—receiving plastic surgery from Lara's hermaphrodite sister (brother?) Portia (Katie Apicella), who also blackmailed Alex into marriage. Did you get all of that? Oh, and did I mention a pair of fabu-licious guest appearances from Robin Riker and Alana Stewart?
In a day and age, when daytime soaps are being cancelled with much of the blame going to over-bloated budgets, Caruso and his insanely talented team manage to put out a series with primetime-esque production values week after week — on a shoestring budget! But don't think DeVanity just looks good, it is good!
As with any good satire, at the heart of DeVanity is a genuine human desire for love and family. Jason DeVanity has to realize his depraived, murderous, incestous siblings aren't worth saving, but save them he must, because they're the only family he has.
If you're a fan of classic 80's daytime and primetime soaps and appreciate a writer with his tongue planted firmly in his cheek, while lovingly sending up some of the genre's more ridiculous aspects, DeVanity is the soap for you. Be sure to check out the Season 2 finale of DeVanity at 9pm EST/6 pm PST, only on The SFN.