It's a toss up as to which particular Jon Voight scene you'll find most disturbing in the June 30 premiere episode of Showtime's fantastic new drama "Ray Donovan": the one where he gets revenge on someone who's wronged his family, or the one where Angelina Jolie's papa dances around a hotel room in nothing but a towel.
Consider yourself warned about that last one, though there's a chance it won't be the scene that makes you turn your head away from the screen — well, the only one that makes you turn your head away — as "Ray Donovan" may eventually rival fellow Showtime drama "Dexter" in the body count tally.
Liev Schreiber stars as the titular Ray, a fixer who gets paid big bucks to make problems go away for the rich and famous of glitzy L.A. Dead girl in the bedroom of a married pro athlete? Better call Ray. Action movie star caught picking up a transsexual? Better call Ray. Suspect your former teen star girlfriend is cheating on you? Better call Ray.
Ray, of course, is leading a life as complicated as that of any of the people he's trying to help, not the least of which is Mickey (Voight), whose surprise early parole and reappearance in the life of Ray and his brothers seems to frighten Ray as much as it angers him.
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The pilot episode, written by series creator Ann Biderman ("Southland") and directed by Emmy-nominated "The Sopranos" and "Nurse Jackie" director Allen Coulter, sets up more questions than it answers, but suggests that its 12-episode premiere season is going to make the journey an intense one, filled with complicated characters and Emmy-worthy performances.
"Ray Donovan," which also stars Paula Malcomson, Katherine Moennig, Dash Mihok, Steven Bauer, Pooch Hall, Elliott Gould, James Woods, Johnathon Schaech, Peter Jacobson, and Rosanna Arquette, premieres on Showtime June 30 at 10 PM.
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- Jon Voight