Vengeance Unlimited

ABC (ended 1999)



User Score: 149

out of 10
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107 votes

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Vengeance Unlimited

Show Summary

When people can kill someone you love and get a book deal out of it--just because they hire the right lawyer or an acting teacher who teaches them to cry on camera--who can you turn to? Mr. Chapel (Michael Madsen), of course! He will help you get your revenge with both charm and finality. There´s no killing involved. He just turns the tables on the bullies, often using their own tactics against them. The only problem is the fee. He charges one million dollars. If you can´t afford the fee, you can help him to help others. Mr. Chapel´s past is unknown, but obviously something horrible happened to him and his family. His tragic history is slowly revealed in piecemeal fashion over the course of the show. KC Griffin is his friend, a former client and a beginner when it comes to the fine art of revenge, but she is a quick study. She provides balance to Chapel´s quirky character. This well-written series, though short-lived, was intelligent, exciting and funny. Vengeance Unlimited was cancelled prematurely because it aired against powerhouse shows like Friends. Some critics claimed that the show was too violent and that Mr. Chapel's actions blurred the concepts of right and wrong. The critics, however, may have missed the point that this was black humor, if in an extreme form. Vengeance Unlimited offered its fans a true guilty pleasure: exciting, fast-paced entertainment and the vicarious thrill of watching the bad guys get what they deserved.moreless
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  • Vengeance Unlimited featured the mysterious Mr. Chapel who got justice for people whom the legal system failed. He used cleverness and favors from previous victims he'd helped to nail the bad guys.moreless

    Vengeance Unlimited was absolutely ahead of its time. Today, I think that it would be a major hit, especially on one of the "edgier" networks (FX, TNT, Showtime.) VU would fill the vacuum that exists today for complex, thought-provoking material on the big three "traditional" networks, with their inane reality shows and copycat, formulaic dramas.

    VU's strength was in its writing and acting. The basic premise created a moral question: what does one do when the justice system fails (as it often does)? The quest for justice is a basic human need, and Mr. Chapel tackles the question head on. The cases are complicated, with no patently simple solutions. The viewers actually have to think about the ethical issues involved, and follow the fiendishly clever plot. The show did not sermonize. In the midst of hunting for justice, Chapel had some of the funniest, wildest, and over-the-top lines ever written for TV. You might have had to exercise your brain, but you'd be laughing while you did. Michael Madsen's acting was some of the best ever seen on TV. This was a brilliant series that was cancelled far too soon.moreless
  • Too bad they canceled it.

    This show, for UK viewers, was buried at, oh, 3am on a Saturday/Sunday morning on channel four. It was sheer fluke that I caught it, but so glad I did!

    The idea of the show was that a person who had suffered an injustice that had gone unpunished would receive an anonymous note offering 'Vengence Unlimited'. They would then receive a visit from Mr Chapel, who would offer to help them get justice in exchange for either One million dollars, or, somewhere down the line, a single favour. Of course, none of the victims could afford that, so this left a very good trail of people in varying positions and authority to help right other people's wrongs later in the show. The first episode followed a quest to set up the murderer of a mother, who was freed by a corrupt lawyer. Kathleen York's character was introduced as just another person who owes Chapel a favour for, Unlike the other people he had helped though, at the end of the first episode she tracked him down help him help others. This was a good vehicle for Michael Madson, as he got to play his usual cool likable rogue but as a good guy, so not someone to be killed off at the end! The plots were intelligent, and it was always fun to try and work out how he would finally the bad guy. Another one to chalk up on the 'why did they cancel this?!' list.moreless
  • Mr. Chapel was the king of cool. He didnt have to hurt you he could just scare the poop out of you. It was one hour of intelligent non violent (though it seemed ultraviolent)good clean family fun.moreless

    One cannot express the need for more shows like this. It taught moral lessons in creative ways that would stick to you and remind you to be good. Mr. Chapel was the essence of justice, comic book characters could only dream of being that cool. But like all masterpieces subjected to ABC, it was doomed from the git-go. And us poor loyal network viewers were subjected to reality shows that treated people 10x worse than Mr. Chapel would. Yet he was the bad guy? Boo to you ABC, good thing CSI airs on CBS or it would have failed too.moreless
  • Chapel would be the person to contact or be contacted by in need of help. Anywhere from someone trying to sell you a bogus house to having a loved one murdered. He's the man to get the revenge for you, for a price or a favor for another.moreless

    I absolutely loved this show. I still talk about it to this day. I was very disappointed when the show went away. Most people I talk to have never heard of it, but when I start telling them about it, it really peaks there interest. On a positive note, I did manage to tape most of the episodes, but it would be so much better to have it on DVD. The Monopoly money one sticks in my mind so well. I just loved the look on that guys face when he saw everyone paying with Monopoly money. And then the look on his face when he was told it was Monopoly money. Anybody that has ever seen this show is nodding there heads right now, and picturing that look on his face. Please, help to put this show on DVD. It would be great to have it all, as I am sure I missed 1 or 2 episodes in my taping them.moreless
  • Brilliant but cancelled - network execs screw up another chance to air a great show with an interesting moral conflict as its premise instead of another watered-down, generic sitcom.

    I sorely miss this show. It was a cut above normal tv fare and presented a morally conflicted character in a responsible and intriguing way. As our nation faces another year imbroiled in a war we entered for "vengeance" it is a current topic that needs to be discussed. When is it okay to take the law in to one's own hands? Do the ends justify the means? Would we truly feel safer if we knew there was someone like Mr. Chapel who was willing to exact his own brand of vengeance or would it lead to anarchy? Television is the medium that transcends all boundaries - it was nice that for a while it was used to address issues that were of concern to all of us. A complete shame this show is not still on the air and instead the networks serve us up another round of brainless "reality" shows demonstrating the worst in human behaviour.moreless