Thursday, February 24, 2011

What I’m Watching: Fairly Legal

Fairly Legal: Season 1, Episode 5 “The Two Richards” (C-)

I’m struggling to understand this show, and trying a bit too hard, I think, to give it the benefit of the doubt. On other USA shows, characters like Michael Westen or Hank Lawson live and breathe their given trades, constantly jumping into action to help save people, via spy work or medicine. Here, Kate finds herself serving as a mediator nearly every second, and it’s exhausting, if nothing else, for me as a viewer to see conflicts that are so starkly divided thrown at me all the time. Adding complexity, like the problem of Richard being transformed into a new person and therefore not fully comprehending why his wife was getting so upset, feels to me like forcing it and trying to sensationalize everything more so than making it dramatic and compelling. I particularly don’t buy the character of Leo, who seems fearless to resist, defy, and openly mock both of his bosses. Lauren is an unstable character as well, and it seems like the two Reeds are just wasting so much time bickering that they could be spending actually doing something productive like mediating cases and using the money that was definitely left to them for some good. This show is certainly establishing its tone as more comic than anything as evidenced by Justin’s naked man showdown with his neighbor across the way. Especially when she locked him out while he was naked, Kate demonstrates consistently that, above anything else, she’s in all this to amuse herself, and I, for one, am not amused.

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