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"The Deep End"

By admin Published: January 21, 2010

I had a little breathing room this afternoon and got over my promo-induced reluctance long enough to watch the pilot of "The Deep End," the lawyer series premiering tonight on ABC. And now I'm done with it, as I will explain after the jump. (Updated with a spoiler.)

While I can see ABC's calculation -- that this will give "Grey's Anatomy"/"Private Practice" fans something more or less compatible in the first hour of prime time -- that does not make it good. Not even in comparison to last week's "Grey's"/"Practice" CROSSOVER EVENT which -- aside from Yang's wonderful moment giving up Owen -- was pretty much a snore.

This is a cliche-ridden pile. The only thing missing from previous law shows is the shade of John Houseman; at that, giving one of the partners the first name of Hart sure seems like a nod to "The Paper Chase." That's unfortunate because there are some good actors here -- Clancy Brown, Tina Majorino, Tom Amandes -- and they do the best they can with what they are handed. But what they are handed is nonsense.

(I will insert a spoiler-y example here after the premiere airs.)
And here it is: When the womanizing young lawyer was found out as not Jewish, it was pretty obvious that he was caught because he wasn't circumcised. And I did not need to actually check out his goods to know that. So there's no reason for anyone to leap a conclusion about who's sleeping with whom based on that bit of information. Only that's exactly how the show played it. Sloppy, especially when you're dealing with lawyer characters who presumably have some acquaintance with evasion.
The characters are all types instead of people. And while they have names, I can't be bothered to learn them all because I don't expect to be watching this again. I have enough time-management problems now, including with juggling viewing, whether good (like last night's hilarious, edgy "Modern Family") or obligatory ("American Idol," not too interesting so far this season). I don't need to throw something this forgettable in the mix.

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