Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Legal Drama 4 Pack: Chase, Detroit 1-8-7, The Defenders, and The Whole Truth

     Every year there are a slew of cop and legal themed procedurals, but this year, it felt like more than usual.  To save myself some time, I'm combining four of the shows into one review.  This works, because the basic premise of each is the same.  A team of people investigate or defend or prosecute crimes in the name of justice.  The viewer is supposed to root for them.  As a general rule, I have no patience for this type of show.  It tends to be the same thing every week.  If the show title contains Law & Order or CSI, I stay clear of it.  But occasionally a Bones or The Good Wife will slip through, so I try to give them all a chance.  Hawaii Five-0 last week was amazing, and it got it's own full review, which you can read hereBlue Bloods was also pretty good, and here's my review for that.  Finally, Outlaw, because it aired first, got it's own review.  The rest of these weren't nearly as special.  All right, here we go:

Chase (Mondays, 10pm, NBC): Typical cop drama.  I only made it through ten minutes.  I really have nothing more to say about this totally unoriginal snooze fest.

Detroit 1-8-7 (Tuesdays, 10pm, ABC): This reminded me a lot of the quickly-canceled-by-network-and-rescued-by-cable Southland, but with lighting that is easier on the eyes (I can't stand the harsh southwest colors).  It had the documentary feel, which was originally more pronounced, but as backed off a bit when it was re-edited.  It seemed to have smart writing and layered characters.  I acknowledge that this is probably a pretty good show.  It is not my cup of tea, though, so I didn't even make it through the first episode.

The Defenders (Wednesdays, 10pm, CBS): Starring Jim Belushi and Jerry O'Connell as the owners of a small firm, this entry is set in Las Vegas.  It is a bit wilder than most lawyer dramas, with the characters stepping a toe over the line occasionally.  As a big fan of Boston Legal, The Defenders does seem tame by comparison, but there may be a glimmer of something here.  Enough to earn a second watch, as I already set my TiVo to catch it again this week.  It is helped along by Jurnee Smollett (Friday Night Lights) as a new member of the legal team.

The Whole Truth (Wednesdays, 10pm, ABC): This was my favorite of the four.  It reminded me of old school episdoes of The Practice, but with a new formula.  Maura Tierney (ER, NewsRadio) is the prosecutor and Rob Morrow (Numb3rs) is the defense.  The show alternates viewpoints between the two, up through the trail.  After the verdict has been given, the truth comes out.  As both main characters seem to be good, interesting people who really care about what they do, no matter how the courtroom drama shakes out, the audience is left satisfied.  Plus Tierney and Morrow's characters have a history, and a possible romantic connection, so there's plenty going on.  This is the one that I am rooting for, and will continue watching for the time being.  Unless it gets stale.

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