Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Fall Television Preview - Raising the Bar

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):


kchop said...

you don't enjoy watching Kyra Sedgewick murder a deep southern accent while she whips the good ol' boys club over at Priority Homicide into shape? I'm not going to pretend it's not on my Tivo list, and it's by far not the most embarrassing thing I record.

As for raising the bar, I wouldn't be able to support that show even if it were Emmy-worthy, as Marc Paul Gossiler's(sp??) hair is wrongness personified, and i have a small epileptic seizure each time i see it. (Although if Mr. Belding made a guest appearance, I might be tempted to tune in.)

Goose said...

True story - I hate Saved By the Bell with a passion. One day I might even write about it.

And I didn't want to mention his hair because that's what everyone is talking about, but I agree. No self respecting person would have a haircut like that. But nothing else screams "DEFENDER OF THE POOR" more than awesome shoulder length hair on a dude.

kchop said...

'cept if maybe he gathered it into a small ponytail at the nape of his neck?

Goose said...

Are male ponytails still in? I'm not in on male fashion trends.