Talking Television and Values.

Fall Preview: Shark

Posted by Travis R Grant on September 6, 2006

Shark is a show deserving of its time slot and one that may really get my attention this fall. It has the excitement of the lawyer’s office, and the draw of a unique twist.

Sebastian Stark (James Wood) was a hot shot Criminal Lawyer who won most of his cases fighting for the bad guy. One case, however, turned his life around. He gets a rich guy off from a spouse abuse case, and then the victim is found dead at the hand of his client.

These circumstances lead Stark to a change of heart, but not necessarily ethics. When the mayor approaches Stark to head up a new legal team to fight high-profile criminal cases for the District Attorney. Stark takes the offer reluctantly in an attempt to make up for his wrongs.

His attempt to redeem himself from his past isn’t a complete about face. He still leans towards unethical legal practices and encourages his new entourage of young lawyers to blur the line of ethics. While these ethical issues seem a bit problematic, I can’t help but lean a little toward the old cliché that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.

I would hope that as this show progresses, that Stark comes to a greater understanding of why the right thing is always that right thing. That following the rule book, while not always easy, is also a very important element to winning cases and being a human being.

Stark’s daughter, Julie (Danielle Panabaker), is the Jimmy Cricket that helps her father through this transition. Her love for her dad and hatred for his ethics brings him closer to an moral human being.

Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t going to be a great family show. Many of the themes around the legal cases I expect to be offensive, and I may have to turn it off because of that. However, I hope that the direction of character development becomes more important to the writers than their desire to portray lewdness on the air.

This has great potential to be a story of redemption and change. The change will be hard. The metamorphosis with be intriguing. Combine all of this in a good lawyer story, and you have a great hit. I will definitely be watching to see how this show develops.


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