TeleValues

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Archive for the ‘Shark’ Category

Shark Bit and Left a Scar

Posted by Travis R Grant on November 17, 2006

I know that I have praised Shark in the past. I still think that it is a great show. However, the most recent episode really bothered me.

Some might think that my concern stems from the focus on teens and sex. However, the overall sense was that it can lead to problems. And while I didn’t like this aspect of the show it wasn’t what bothered me.

Others might deduce that I was bothered by the lesbian theme and more specifically the teen lesbian kiss. Yes, these did bother me, and I almost turned the show off. But for the main reason that bothered me, I am glad that I didn’t turn off the show.

What really bothered me about this episode are the lies it spreads.

Think back to the scene where Sebastian Stark (James Woods) is on the beach talking with the murder suspect about confessing what really happened the night her friend died. Why was it that Stark was able to tell her that she was confused about telling the truth as to who killed her friend, but he couldn’t tell her that she was confused about her sexual orientation.

Stark out right condoned her homosexual love. She obviously couldn’t be confused about such things. There is nothing sexually confusing during the teen years. Is my sarcasm coming through here?

Essentially, television believes that teens are old enough to make decision about their sexuality, but they aren’t old enough to know when to protect a friend. They are in essence saying “You are too young to know what is best about your murdering boyfriend, but you are old enough to know that you love women more than men.”

That is a lie. As the show portrayed it, it was obvious that this girl was confused. She was dating a boy and a girl at the same time. She didn’t know what was right. This is an obvious attempt at normalizing homosexual behavior. It ignored the confusion about gender identity, and worried more about the girl’s decision about going to jail.

I haven’t added Shark to my will not watch list. However, it has definitely been moved to my only if I don’t have something else better to do list.

Perhaps I am keeping it on my will watch list because I liked that Stark finally started talking to his daughter (Danielle Panabaker) about sex. Well, sort of. He said that he was willing to hear such things because this case opened his eyes to why parents need to be informed about their children’s lives, especially when it comes to sex and drugs.

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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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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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