TNT has been in the business of making series for awhile now, and I have yet to find one I enjoy. Now, I haven't seen Saving Grace, so I'm not saying I'm being completely fair, but The Closer and Now Raising the Bar have yet to capture my attention beyond a show or two. Back in the days of three networks that wouldn't be a problem; shows could stink for entire seasons before hitting their groove and still find an audience, because there were only 2 other options, or UHF (not the movie), which really had limited options aside from the occasional pirated transmission. These days, shows don't have that luxury. If you aren't good in the first 30 seconds, I'm switching to one of my nine hundred other entertainment options - including the old pirated transmissions I missed during the three network era.
Raising the Bar did not give me a good first 30 seconds. In fact, it didn't give me a good 30 seconds at any given point during the show...
Following a group of lawyers who (and I'm speculating here, the show wasn't entirely clear) graduated in the same class, Raising the Bar gives us the stereotypes right away. The ambitious prosecutor who thinks she's ready for the big case; the passionate defense attorney who fights for his clients and gets thrown in jail for perjury after sass talking judges and grandstanding; the hard nosed judge who takes no guff; the district attorney who cares more about convictions than justice; and so on. Honestly, after watching for a bit I thought this was going to pay off in a huge satirical way at the end, but I was wrong.
Law shows on television aren't rare and new. They've been done before, and they've been done well before. So it's disappointing to see such a generic, cliched approach, especially from a producer (Steven Bochco) that should know better.
Unfortunately, it seems that a significant portion of the viewing audience disagrees with me, since it received decent ratings, and has been renewed for a second season already. Which is fine - I hope they can mold it and make it into a better series. But I'm not going to hold my breath.
For your enjoyment, a peek at what you're missing (if you're not watching):