Talking Television and Values.

Archive for September, 2006

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.

Posted in Drama, Fall Preview 2006, Previews, Shark, Television, TV | Leave a Comment »

Fall Preview: Standoff

Posted by Travis R Grant on September 4, 2006

Admittedly, I have never been a real fan of the Fox Network. They seem to be really pushing the buttons of ethics and morals on television. They have broadcast some shows that deserve accolades, like 24, however, for the most part I am not a big Fox fan.

Their new drama Standoff doesn’t change my opinion either. Standoff just slaps me in the face of blatant disregard for morals.

In Standoff, Matt Flannery (Ron Livingston) and Emily Lehman (Rosemarie DeWitt) are partners in the Crisis Negotiation Unit (CNU). Wow, that sounds like a great concept right there. Crisis negotiators could really produce a lot of great material for suspense, action, and entertainment. This really sounds like Fox’s answer to CSI, and with some creative writing and great acting, we could have a winner.

However, Fox can’t take a great concept and leave it alone. Instead they have to add an element where ethics are pushed over the line. Matt and Emily are having an affair.

Two partners are sleeping together. Sexual relations between partners usually results in a break up of the partnership. Despite the fact that this affair is revealed during the first episode, they remain partners throughout the season.

Apparently during a crisis negotiation, Matt looses his cool and reveals to those involved (including his own father) that he is having an affair with his partner.

Just a second, this guy, who can’t seem to keep calm during a negotiation, is supposedly one of the best they have? He is so good that Matt and Emily’s boss, Cheryl Carrera (Gina Torres), can’t separate these two because they are a great combination for negotiations.

Yeah, right! Matt is so good at negotiating that he reveals his deepest secret while on the job. Smooth…

Fox should have just stuck with the CNU angle. It could have been a great set up. However, they had to add a deeper element and that has really messed up their story line.

Is this show supposed to be a cop show or a romance? Their blatant attempt at trying to attract two different audiences at the same time will simply be a bust.

Sorry Fox, but you have struck out with me yet again. Perhaps next year.

Posted in Drama, Fall Preview 2006, Previews, Standoff, Television, TV | Leave a Comment »