Talking Television and Values.

Shark Is More Than a Lawyer Show

Posted by Travis R Grant on September 29, 2006

It hit me while I was finishing up Shark last night. I realized why I liked this show. As a general rule, I am not much of a fan of lawyer shows. I also don’t like cop shows that much, either.

So, when I found myself intrigued by last week’s Shark and more than willing to watch it again this week, it was a little baffling. Maybe it is the cutthroat nature of Sebastian Stark (James Wood)? That is probably not it, because of his willingness to stretch the rule of law. Maybe I like it because of the potential for change in Sebastian Stark? This explanation is more likely than the previous posibility.

However, I like this show because it isn’t really a lawyer show. Well, at least it isn’t completely a lawyer show. It is a family show. By that I don’t mean that it is suitable for the whole family. Rather, I mean that it is a show about family.

Generally, I don’t like the over-representation of divorced families on television. However, I think that in this case it is appropriate. This is a story about a man who is changing. A man who made many wrong decisions, and now is turning his life around to make right decisions. The divorce in this case is a symptom of the wrongs that he made in his life.

As you watch this show, you see great legal work (notice I avoided the word good because he isn’t always ethical in his practices). And the acting is very good. You find the characters believable, well developed, and you love and hate them as the characterization calls for. But the key is that each case Stark fights brings him closer to his daughter Julie (Danielle Panabaker). You see the connection of the case to the trial of the relationship.

My only fear is that as the show progresses it is only natural that these two grow together. Then what happens to the drama. Might I suggest that they bring Stark’s former wife back in season two and have their relationship rekindled.

Stark is a great show about family relationships with the law as the canvas on which the story is painted. This is a great piece of television.


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