'666 Park Avenue' review: Stealing souls

An image from "666 Park Avenue," which will An image from "666 Park Avenue," which will premiere Sept. 30, 2012 on ABC. Photo Credit: ABC

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REVIEW

DRAMA PREMIERE "666 Park Avenue"

WHEN | WHERE Sunday at 10 p.m. on ABC/7

WHAT IT'S ABOUT Young and in love, Midwesterners Jane Van Veen (Rachael Taylor) and Henry Martin (Dave Annable) are just so happy and wholesome . . . that you KNOW something very bad is about to happen to them. They land a job as co-managers of a fabulous Upper East Side building, the Drake at 666 Park Ave. The apartment that comes with the gig is (literally) to die for. Owner of the fine old building is Gavin Doran (Terry O'Quinn) -- think Donald Trump, without the hair -- who's a high roller in the NYC real estate world, and has a beautiful accessory wife, Olivia (Vanessa Williams), to help with the empire building. Gavin's not a real-estate tycoon in the usual sense of the word: He steals people's souls, or he explains to one woeful tenant, "You're only renting this life. Make the payment."

MY SAY The glorious O'Quinn and Williams as a husband-wife team who offer the unsuspecting a one-way ticket to hell (unless they agree to their wicked demands)? Where do I sign up for this one? "666" is many things -- most of them good: mysterious, Gothic, atmospheric, skillfully directed (Alex Graves does the honors in the pilot) and above all, fun. Sunday's pilot is full of promising narrative threads leading to who knows where (except that it will likely be hot when you get there). If guilty of anything, "666 Park" may actually overshare. Almost too much is given away during this first hour, including some back story and Gavin's moonlighting gig as a harvester of human souls. What's left? Certainly the story of how our plucky heroine avoids the Dorans' spider web -- and best of luck with that, Jane. Based on Gabriella Pierce's book series of the same name (Pierce's tag -- "Welcome to the Upper East Side where the socialites are witches!") and created by "Fringe's" David Wilcox, "666" also wants to summon a few happy collective memories, from "Ghostbusters" to "The Shining." It succeeds, and then some.

BOTTOM LINE Stylish Gothic thriller that almost gives away a little too much Sunday. Otherwise, thumbs up.

GRADE B+

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