‘Ray Donovan’ Is ‘Not an Homage’ to ‘The Sopranos,’ Creator Says

TCA 2014: Ann Biderman addresses similarities between Liev Schreiber’s Ray and Tony Soprano

ray donovan

The second season of “Ray Donovan” finds Liev Schreiber‘s Ray looking a bit like Tony Soprano: He’s a violent family fan in therapy, with a wife who’s complaining but complicit.

Creator Ann Biderman says the “Sopranos” may have been a subliminal influence, but that her Showtime series isn’t an overt homage to the HBO classic.

Also read: ‘Masters of Sex’ Season 2 Premiere Suffers Slight Ratings Droop; ‘Ray Donovan’ Returns Steady

“I’m a huge fan of that show,” Biderman said at a Television Critics Association panel Friday. “I’m flattered by the comparison. I don’t think it’s a bad thing if it’s something that I’ve done unwittingly.”
New York Times preview once said the show “feels a lot like ‘The Sopranos’ on Sunset Boulevard.” A critic at the TCA panel Friday noted that the therapy in Season 2 invites more comparisons.
But Biderman said Ray, not exactly the talk-things-out type, won’t be in therapy long.

“No one’s in therapy for too terribly long in this show,” she said. “I don’t think it’s a trope that we’re using in the same way, but it does kind of ignite a theme.”

She also said it made sense that Ray’s wife, Abby (Paula Malcomson), would be somewhat complicit in his dirty dealings. Donovan is a fixer who will do anything to keep his client’s secrets. His criminal father (Jon Voight) gives him even more to hide.
“Any time you do a story about a family and relationship and a marriage and crime… theres’s going to be complicity on some level,” Biderman said.
Voight, who won a Golden Globe for his performance and was just nominated for a supporting actor Emmy for the role, said he feels “very blessed” to be on the show.

“It’s almost like I earned this role over years of struggling and failing and experimenting — and succeeding,” he said. “I’m as happy as an actor can be.”