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A Great Cast Is Not Enough to Make 'Ray Donovan' a Hit

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Ray Donovan returns to Showtime for its second season and all of the cast returns. The show is headed up by Liev Shreiber in the title role. Jon Voight is back as Ray's father and Paula Malcomson plays his wife, Abby. Yes, the gang is all here and they are all perfectly cast.

The main question about this show is why should anyone invest their time to watch it. As stated the cast play their parts to perfection but what dull roles they are. Ray is a Hollywood fixer. So what. So far what he fixes is only mildly interesting. He also has some marital problems, but there are 50 or more shows with couples having problems. And he has problems with his father; this is a staple of comedy and drama in just about every other TV show.

Something of importance needs to happen and happen quickly. Just facing problems is one thing, getting involved in something compelling is another. In the first two episodes I previewed of this season the biggest crisis is in getting Ezra Goldman's medical center for his wife built. That's a crisis? But at least it did have enough clout to bring Ann-Margaret on the scene as a guest star -- and that is definitely a plus.

The look of Ray Donovan is good; the style of Ray Donovan is good. It has all the window dressing but just not enough impact. Maybe some theme will develop over the season and perhaps one or more of the characters will get caught up in something that demands our attention. I hope so, I really do.

Still it must be recognized the attention span of most viewers is miniscule. If they are not immediately grabbed by what is being shown they will turn that channel in a flash. The buzz about Ray Donovan the first season was hot. This year it is so what. This is what happens with second seasons. You have to present something twice as interesting as what you showed in the first season.

So here's hoping there are more interesting chapters in this story coming down the pike because the first two episodes were snoozers.

Ray Donovan airs on Showtime, Sunday nights at 9.

Jackie K. Cooper,www.jackiekcooper.com