Murphy’s Law – Boob Tube Breakdown 2010

Joel Murphy

Joel Murphy

I love September. People stop asking me to go do things out in nature, which saves my pasty Irish skin from the harsh rays of the sun and allows me to sit inside with my one true love, the old boob tube.

Last year saw the end of two shows I really enjoyed, Lost and 24, which means I have room on my DVR and in my heart for a few new fall shows. And, I’m in luck – this month all of the big networks (and the CW) debute their new fall lineups.

Since most of you fine readers have personal lives and don’t have the time to research these shows like I do, I have a full breakdown of all of the new shows in my fourth-annual “Boob Tube Breakdown.” As always, some of these shows will be good, some will be bad and quite a few will be promptly canceled.

It’s an exciting time to be a couch potato, so let’s see what the TV Gods have to offer this year:

Better With You
ABC (Premieres: Wednesday, Sept. 22, at 8:30 p.m.)

Synopsis: Maddie and Ben have been dating for nine years. They know each other inside and out, a relationship marked by contentment and affection, seeing their commitment to one another as a “valid life choice,” something they proclaim often—and often loudly. Maddie’s younger sister, Mia, has been dating Casey for seven weeks … Mia and Casey are smitten with each other, and thrilled to explore the oh-so-many things they don’t know about each other yet. But when they announce they’re getting married and having a baby, it’s news that throws Maddie for a loop. Surprisingly, the girls’ parents, Vicky and Joel, couldn’t be more pleased. Married 35 years, they have recently adopted a carpe diem sort of philosophy, rather like Mia’s, maybe because they’re getting older and lost a good portion of their savings when the economy tanked. With three very different relationships tightly intertwined in one family, will it be free thinkers vs. over-thinkers, or will each couple begin to see things a little bit differently?

My Take: This sounds a lot like Rules of Engagement (with a little Modern Family mixed in for good measure). If you are ripping off your ideas from shows starring David Spade, you should really look back and try to figure out where things went wrong.

Blue Bloods
CBS (Premieres: Friday, Sept. 24, at 10 p.m.)

Synopsis: Blue Bloods is a drama about a multi-generational family of cops dedicated to New York City law enforcement. Frank Reagan (Tom Selleck) is the New York Chief of Police and patriarch of the Reagan brood, which he heads as diplomatically as he does the force, even when dealing with the politics that plagued his unapologetically bold father, Henry (Len Cariou), during his stint as Chief. A source of pride and concern for Frank is his eldest son Danny (Donnie Wahlberg), a seasoned detective, family man and Iraqi War vet who on occasion uses dubious tactics to solve cases. The sole Reagan woman in the family, Erin (Bridget Moynahan), is a N.Y. Assistant D.A. and newly single parent, who also serves as the legal compass for her siblings and father. Jamie (Will Estes) is the youngest Reagan, fresh out of Harvard Law and the family’s “golden boy.” However, unable to deny the family tradition, Jamie decided to give up a lucrative future in law and is now a newly minted cop, a career change seemingly supported by his beautiful girlfriend, Sydney Davenport (Dylan Moore), a first year lawyer. Jamie’s life takes an abrupt turn, however, when he’s asked to become part of a clandestine police investigation even his father knows nothing about, and one that could impact the family’s legacy.

My Take: I’d like to see this one succeed. The cast seems solid – Tom Selleck’s mustache will shine in high def, Bridget Moynahan is a solid actress and I’ve always thought Donnie Wahlberg is underrated. Plus, if this show takes off, maybe it will keep Selleck from having to make Three Men and a Bride, which would be a win for everyone (except Guttenberg).

Boardwalk Empire
HBO (Premieres: Sunday, Sept. 19 at 9 p.m.)

Synopsis: From Terence Winter, Emmy Award-winning writer of The Sopranos and Academy Award winning director Martin Scorsese, Boardwalk Empire is set in Atlantic City at the dawn of Prohibition, when the sale of alcohol became illegal throughout the United States.

My Take: There was a time when both Martin Scorsese and HBO were absolute locks for quality entertainment, but those days are sadly over. (I still haven’t quite forgiven them for letting me down with The Departed and John From Cincinnati respectively – both of which showed promise, but fizzled out). Still, I trust Terence Winter, who wrote the bulk of the best episodes of The Sopranos, I love Steve Buscemi and Michael K. Williams and I’m a sucker for Prohibition era gangsters, so I’m in.

Body of Proof
ABC (Premieres: TBD)

Synopsis: Dr. Megan Hunt (Dana Delany) was in a class of her own, a brilliant neurosurgeon at the top of her game. Her world is turned upside down when a devastating car accident puts an end to her time in the operating room. Megan resumes her career as a medical examiner determined to solve the puzzle of who or what killed the victims. Megan’s instincts are sharp, but she’s developed a reputation for graying the lines of where her job ends and where the police department’s begins. It turns out her career isn’t the only thing that will need to be rebuilt; Megan’s family has taken a backseat to her ambition, and now she’ll discover there’s a lot of work to do when it comes to dissecting her relationships with the living.

My Take: In some ways it seemed like Dana Delany was auditioning for this role with her short stint on Castle last season (where she shined). This show will probably be watchable, but frankly, the last thing the world needs is another cop show or medical drama and this is both rolled into one.

Chase
NBC (Premieres: Monday, Sept. 20 at 10 p.m.)

Synopsis: Kelli Giddish (Past Life) stars as U.S. Marshal Annie Frost, a cowboy boot-wearing deputy whose sharp mind and unique Texas upbringing help her track down violent criminals on the run. Starring as the members of Frost’s elite team are Cole Hauser (K-Ville) as Jimmy Godfrey, an East Texas kid who never grew up and is a true American cowboy; Amaury Nolasco (Prison Break) who plays Marco Martinez, a good intelligence guy who loves to talk; and Rose Rollins (The L Word), who portrays Daisy Ogbaa, a weapons/tactical specialist and a woman of few words. Rounding out the cast is Jesse Metcalfe (Desperate Housewives), who stars as Luke Watson, the fresh-faced newcomer whose Washington, D.C. upbringing did little to prepare him for the Lone Star State.

My Take: Unfortunately, Justified beat them to the punch on this one. And while Kelli Giddish seems perfect nice, if I have a violent escaped convict I need tracked down, I’m hiring batshit crazy, Cowboy-hat wearing Timothy Olyphant to do the job.

The Defenders
CBS (Premieres: Wednesday, Sept. 22 at 10 p.m.)

Synopsis: The Defenders stars Jim Belushi and Jerry O’Connell in a comedic drama about two colorful Las Vegas defense attorneys who go all-in when it comes to representing their clients. Nick and Pete are the local go-to guys with an eclectic client list who are still looking to hit their own jackpot.

My Take: I’m going to be honest – I stopped reading after “Jim Belushi and Jerry O’Connell.”

Detroit 1-8-7
ABC (Premieres: Tuesday, Sept. 21 at 10 p.m.)

Synopsis: What does it take to be a detective on America’s streets? Get an in-depth look at some of Detroit’s finest and watch the crisis and revelation, heartbreak and heroism of the cops assigned to an inner city homicide unit.

There’s the damaged but driven Detective Louis Fitch, a wily homicide vet who is the most respected —and most misunderstood — man in the division; Detective Damon Washington, Fitch’s new partner, who finds the first day on the job is a trial by fire, complicated by the imminent birth of his first child; Detective Ariana Sanchez, sexy, edgy and beautiful, who has emerged from a rough background to become a rising star in the department; Narcotics undercover cop John Stone, a streetwise smooth talker, clever and quick with a smile made for the movies, who is teamed with Sanchez — a combustible pairing rife with conflict and sexual tension; Sergeant Jesse Longford, a 30-year veteran struggling with his impending retirement from the force and the city he loves, who, together with his partner, Detective Aman Mahajan — a fully Americanized son of Indian immigrants — form an amusing mismatch of experience and enthusiasm, intellect and instinct, old school and new world, but whose combined skills have never encountered a case that couldn’t be cleared; and all are headed by Lieutenant Maureen Mason, a strong-willed single mom struggling to balance home and work.

My Take: Not only is this yet another pointless cop drama, but it seems like they are trying to cram as many clichés in this show as possible. Unstable homicide detective haunted by his old cases? Check. Inexperienced rookie’s first day on the job? Check. Comically-mismatched partners who work surprisingly well together? Check. Grizzled veteran days away from retirement? Check. Honest cop looking to escape her former life on the mean streets? Check. Smooth talking undercover narcotics cop? Check. I would have loved to hear the pitch for this one: “You know every cop show and movie ever made? This is exactly like all of them.”

The Event
NBC (Premieres: Monday, Sept. 20 at 9 p.m.)

Synopsis: The Event is an emotional, high-octane conspiracy thriller that follows Sean Walker (Jason Ritter, The Class), an everyman who investigates the mysterious disappearance of his would-be fiancée Leila (Sarah Roemer, Disturbia), and unwittingly begins to expose the biggest cover-up in U.S. history.

Sean’s quest will send ripples through the lives of an eclectic band of strangers, including newly elected U.S. President Elias Martinez (Golden Globe nominee Blair Underwood, In Treatment); Sophia Maguire (Emmy Award nominee Laura Innes, ER), who is the leader of a mysterious group of detainees; and Leila’s shadowy father (Scott Patterson, Gilmore Girls). Their futures are on a collision course in a global conspiracy that could ultimately change the fate of mankind.

My Take: I’ll admit the premise sounds intriguing, but I’m really weary of shows like this these days. When you build a show around uncovering one specific mystery or resolving one specific conflict, there are several potential problems: a) the show gets prematurely canceled and there is never a payoff (like FlashForward last season); b)the show runs out of steam once the issue is resolved (like Heroes); or c) a fan backlash begins when you take too long to answer questions and the payoff seems underwhelming when it finally occurs (like Lost). I think I’ll sit back and see how it all plays out before getting invested in this one.

Hawaii Five-0
CBS (Premieres: Monday, Sept. 20 at 10 p.m.)

Synopsis: Hawaii Five-0 is a contemporary take on the classic series about a new elite federalized task force whose mission is to wipe out the crime that washes up on the Islands’ sun-drenched beaches. Detective Steve McGarrett (Alex O’Loughlin), a decorated Naval officer turned cop, returns to Oahu to investigate his father’s murder and stays after Hawaii’s governor persuades him to head up the new team: his rules, her backing, no red tape and full blanket immunity to hunt down the biggest “game” in town. Joining McGarrett is Detective Danny “Danno” Williams (Scott Caan), a newly relocated ex-New Jersey cop who prefers skyscrapers to the coastline but is committed to keeping the Islands safe for his eight-year-old daughter; and Chin Ho Kelly (Daniel Dae Kim), an ex-Honolulu Police Detective wrongly accused of corruption and relegated to a federal security patrol, who is also a former protégé of McGarrett’s father. Chin’s cousin, Kono (Grace Park), is a beautiful and fearless native, fresh out of the academy and eager to establish herself among the department’s elite. McGarrett vows to bring closure to his father’s case while the state’s brash new Five-0 unit, who may spar and jest among themselves, is determined to eliminate the seedy elements from the 50th state.

My Take: I wonder if they will do an episode where the officers are exhausted after spending all night busting Lost actors for DWIs. This is, of course, a cop drama and a remake, which makes it extra unoriginal. Plus, Daniel Day Kim just isn’t as much fun to watch when he can speak perfect English and doesn’t have to keep warning his friends about the “Udders” attempts to kidnap them.

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Hellcats
CW (Premieres: Wednesday, Sept. 8 at 9 p.m.)

Synopsis: Marti Perkins’ plan was to get through Lancer University on her scholarship, go to law school and leave Memphis and her hard-drinking mother behind to start a new life as an attorney. Instead, Marti’s scholarship gets cancelled and her mother “forgets” to tell her. Out of options, Marti finds herself fighting for a spot on the Hellcats – Lancer’s legendary cheer squad – and for the scholarship that comes with it. The squad needs a new member when the beautiful Alice Verdura is injured, and Marti’s fierce style, soulful moves and gymnastic elegance win her a place on the team, despite an ugly encounter with Savannah Monroe, a petite and peppy Texan who ends up being Marti’s new roommate. Marti instantly hits it off with her new squad partner, the charming and extremely athletic Lewis Flynn, and their budding friendship causes alarm bells to go off for Lewis’ ex, Alice, as well as Marti’s long-time friend, Dan Patch. Overseeing all the practices and personal drama is former Hellcats star and current coach Vanessa Lodge, whose job is on the line unless the squad wins the upcoming nationals. Just like Marti, Vanessa’s future is riding on the Hellcats ascending to the very top of the fiercely competitive world of college cheerleading.

My Take: Little known fact: It was actually Lars’ “fierce style, soulful moves and gymnastic elegance” that earned him a place on HoboTrashcan’s team.

Law & Order: Los Angeles
NBC (Premieres: Wednesday, Sept. 29 at 10 p.m.)

Synopsis: The newest addition to the Law & Order brand, Law & Order: Los Angeles fuses classic ripped-from-the-headlines storytelling with the distinctive backdrop of LA – delving into the unique attitudes, cultures and crimes of the West Coast.

My Take: “The unique attitudes, cultures and crimes of the West Coast.” Is that code for “celebrities can do whatever the hell they want without ever being held accountable”?

Lone Star
Fox (Premieres: Monday, Sept. 20 at 9 p.m.)

Synopsis: Robert “Bob” Allen (James Wolk) is a charismatic and brilliant schemer who has meticulously constructed two lives in two different parts of Texas. He’s juggling two identities and two women in two very different worlds – all under one mountain of lies.

As “Bob,” he lives in Houston and is married to Cat (Adrianne Palicki), the beautiful daughter of Clint (Jon Voight), the patriarch of an ultra-wealthy Texas oil family. More than 400 miles away in the suburban west Texas town of Midland, he’s “Robert,” living a second life with his sweet, naïve girlfriend, Lindsay (Eloise Mumford).

My Take: It sounds an original idea, which is often hard to come by these days. Plus, as I mentioned last month, the show’s creator Kyle Killen likened the show to Mad Men and Breaking Bad, which is enough to convince me to at least give this one a try.

Mike & Molly
CBS (Premieres: Monday, Sept. 20 at 9:30 p.m.)

Synopsis: Mike & Molly is a comedy from Chuck Lorre (Two and a Half Men and The Big Bang Theory) about a working class Chicago couple who find love at an Overeaters Anonymous meeting. Officer Mike Biggs (Billy Gardell) is a good-hearted cop who sincerely wants to lose weight. Mike’s partner, Officer Carl McMillan (Reno Wilson), is a thin, fast-talking wise-guy, who despite his teasing encourages Mike on his road to slimness and romance. While speaking at an O.A. meeting, Mike meets Molly Flynn (Melissa McCarthy), an instantly likeable fourth-grade teacher with a healthy sense of humor about her curves. For Molly, focusing on smart choices isn’t easy because she lives with her sexy older sister, Victoria (Katy Mixon), and their mother, Joyce (Swoosie Kurtz), both of whom flaunt their healthy appetites and slender figures. Mike also faces temptation at the diner he and Carl frequent, where they’ve become friends with the Senegalese waiter, Samuel (Nyambi Nyambi), who finds trying to eat less a foreign concept. For Mike and Molly, thanks to their mutual love of pie and the desire to resist it, finding each other may have been worth the “weight.”

My Take: Wait, Mike’s wife is overweight too? Don’t you know the standard sitcom formula these days, CBS? It’s fat guy with a hot skinny wife. Also, does Katy Mixon’s role in this show mean she won’t be coming back for season two of Eastbound and Down? If so, that’s unfortunate. Even though Kenny Powers left April at the gas station last year, I was really hoping he’d get another chance to “get up in it.”

My Generation
ABC (Premieres: Thursday, Sept. 23 at 8 p.m.)

Synopsis: What a difference ten years can make. In 2000, a documentary crew follows a disparate group of high schoolers from Greenbelt High School in Austin, TX as they prepare for graduation, then revisits these former classmates ten years later as they return home to rediscover that just because they’re not where they planned doesn’t mean they’re not right where they need to be.

My Take: Do people still get together for 10 year high school reunions? I figured everyone just uses Facebook to figure out who got fat, who developed an oxycontin addiction and who ended up in jail.

Nikita
CW(Premieres: Thursday, Sept. 9 at 9 p.m.)

Synopsis: When she was a deeply troubled teenager, Nikita (Maggie Q, Live Free or Die Hard, Mission Impossible 3) was rescued from death row by a secret U.S. agency known only as Division, who faked her execution and told her she was being given a second chance to start a new life and serve her country. What they didn’t tell her was that she was being trained as a spy and assassin. Throughout her grueling training at Division, Nikita never lost her humanity, even falling in love with a civilian. When her fiancé was murdered, Nikita realized she had been betrayed and her dreams shattered by the only people she thought she could trust, so she did what no one else before her had been able to do: she escaped. Now, after three years in hiding, Nikita is seeking retribution and making it clear to her former bosses that she will stop at nothing to expose and destroy their covert operation.

My Take: What the hell happened to Maggie Q’s career? I thought she was good in Live Free or Die Hard and Mission Impossible 3. Why is she starring in a CW remake of La Femme Nikita? It’s not like the role did wonders for Peta Wilson’s career.

No Ordinary Family
ABC (Premieres: Tuesday, Sept. 28 at 8 p.m.)

Synopsis: The Powells are about to go from ordinary to extraordinary. After 16 years of marriage, Jim (Michael Chiklis, The Shield, Fantastic Four) feels disconnected from his workaholic wife, Stephanie (Julie Benz, Dexter) and two teenage children, Daphne (Kay Panabaker, Summerland) and JJ (Jimmy Bennett, Star Trek). To encourage family bonding time, Jim decides the family will join Stephanie on her business trip to South America. When their plane crashes into the Amazon River, they barely enjoy a moment to celebrate their survival before returning to the grind of everyday life. But they will soon realize that their lives have been forever changed. Each member of the family starts to show signs of new, unique and distinct super powers. Will their newfound abilities finally bring them together or push them further apart?

My Take:In theory, this show should be right up my alley. I like Michael Chiklis and Julie Benz and I’m a sucker for superhero shows. For some reason though, I just can’t muster up any excitement for this one. I’d rather they just ditch this show and convince Pixar to make an Incredibles show instead.

Outlaw
NBC (Premieres: Wednesday, Sept. 15 at 10 p.m.)

Synopsis: Few jobs are guaranteed for a lifetime, and a Supreme Court appointment is a position that no one ever quits – unless he is Cyrus Garza (Jimmy Smits). A playboy and a gambler, Justice Garza always adhered to a strict interpretation of the law until he realized the system he believed in was flawed. Now, he’s quit the bench and returned to private practice.

Using his inside knowledge of the justice system, Garza and his team will travel across the country taking on today’s biggest and most controversial legal cases.

My Take: They really just need to take this show one step further and have Smits officially snap and begin stabbing people like he did on Dexter.

Outsourced
NBC (Premieres: Thursday, Sept. 23 at 9:30 p.m.)

Synopsis: Outsourced is NBC’s new workplace comedy series centered around a catalog-based company, Mid America Novelties, that sells American novelty goods including whoopee cushions, foam fingers and wallets made of bacon, and whose call center has suddenly been outsourced to India.

After recently completing Mid America Novelties’ manager training program, Todd Dempsy (Ben Rappaport) learns that the call center is being outsourced to India, and he is asked to move there to be the manager. Having never ventured out of the country, he is unprepared for the culture shock. Overwhelmed, Todd discovers that his new staff needs a crash course in all things American if they are to understand the U.S. product line and ramp up sales from halfway around the world.

My Take: Just keep trying, NBC. Surely you’ll find a successor to The Office one of these days.

Raising Hope
Fox (Premieres: Tuesday, Sept. 21 at 9 p.m.)

Synopsis: At 23 years old, Jimmy Chance (Lucas Neff) is going nowhere in life. He skims pools for a living, parties every night and still lives at home with his family, including his Maw Maw (Cloris Leachman); his mother, Virginia (Martha Plimpton) and his father, Burt (Garret Dillahunt).

Jimmy’s life takes a drastic turn when a chance romantic encounter with Lucy (guest star Bijou Phillips) goes awry once he discovers she is a wanted felon. Months later, when Jimmy pays a visit to the local prison, he learns Lucy is pregnant with their baby, and after she gives birth, he is charged with raising their daughter.

My Take: I have mixed feelings about Greg Garcia. I think he’s a creative guy, but his shows so far have been underwhelming. My Name is Earl had a great premise, but got stale when they ran out of ideas (somewhere around episode six) and Yes, Dear had a completely generic premise, but was actually pretty watchable (in an “I’m bored and there’s nothing else on” sort of way). I love the premise of Raising Hope, the trailers have all been solid and deep down I’m hoping this will be the show that finally delivers on all cylinders, but I’m (to steal a phrase from Homer McFanboy) “cautiously optimistic” at best.

Running Wilde
Fox (Premieres: Tuesday, Sept. 21 at 9:30 p.m.)

Synopsis: From the Emmy Award-winning creator and the star of the critically acclaimed Fox series Arrested Development comes Running Wilde, a romantic comedy starring Will Arnett as Steven Wilde, a filthy-rich, immature playboy trying desperately to win (or buy) the heart of his childhood sweetheart, Emmy Kadubic (Keri Russell), the über-liberal humanitarian who got away – all told through the perspective of a 12-year-old girl.

My Take: If Steven Wilde is anything like Gob Bluth, then the show will be worth checking out, but I’m not sure if the premise really has legs. It seems like a pretty thin idea to try to stretch out into a 22-episode series.

Secret Millionaire
ABC (Premieres: TBD)

Synopsis: Secret Millionaire is a one-hour alternative series that follows some of America’s wealthiest people for one week as they leave behind their lavish lifestyles, sprawling mansions and luxury jets, conceal their true identities, and go to live and volunteer in some of the most impoverished and dangerous communities in America. Surviving on welfare wages, their mission is to discover the unsung heroes of America — deserving individuals who continually sacrifice everything to help those in need. Throughout this incredible experience, the Secret Millionaires will attempt to remain undiscovered, coming face to face with extraordinary and amazing people battling the odds every day of their lives. On the final day, in an emotional and dramatic climax, they reveal their true identities. Ultimately, the millionaires will each give away at least $100,000 of their own money, changing lives forever.

My Take: It’s refreshing anytime reality television is used for good instead of as a platform for shameless fame whores to get the airtime they so desperately crave, but I still won’t be watching this one. Plus, something tells me this show will ultimately come across as more exploitative than noble.

S#*! My Dad Says
CBS (Premieres: Thursday, Sept. 23 at 8:30 p.m.)

Synopsis: $#*! My Dad Says, based on the popular Twitter feed by Justin Halpern, stars Emmy Award winner William Shatner as Ed Goodson, a forthright and opinionated dad who relishes expressing his unsolicited and often wildly politically incorrect observations to anyone within earshot. Nobody is safe from Ed’s rants, including his sons, Henry, a struggling writer-turned-unpaid blogger; and Vince (Will Sasso), the meek half of his husband/wife real estate duo with domineering Kathleen (Nicole Sullivan). When Henry finds he can no longer afford to pay rent to his pretty roommate – and secret admirer – Sam (Stephanie Lemelin), Ed reveals a soft spot and invites Henry to move in with him. Henry agrees, knowing that the verbal assault will not abate and now there will be no escape. Describing their father/son relationship is tricky – but Ed will easily come up with a few choice words.

My Take: Network executives constantly baffle me. They buy the rights to a guy’s (admittedly very funny) Twitter feed and develop it into a sitcom. But the feed is nothing but a bunch of one-liners, most of which can’t be repeated on network television (and they can’t even use the actual title “Shit My Dad Says”). To make the idea work, they hire writers to fill in the gaps, ultimately creating a show that is nothing like the original concept. So why even bother buying the rights to the idea in the first place?

Undercovers
NBC (Premieres: Wednesday, Sept. 22 at 8 p.m.)

Synopsis: From acclaimed writer/producer/director J.J. Abrams (Star Trek, Fringe, Lost, Alias) and executive producer/writer Josh Reims (Brothers and Sisters, What About Brian) comes a sexy, fun, action-packed spy drama that proves once and for all that marriage is still the world’s most dangerous partnership.

Outwardly, Steven Bloom (Boris Kodjoe) and his wife, Samantha (Gugu Mbatha-Raw), are a typical married couple who own and operate a small catering company in Los Angeles – with help from Samantha’s easily frazzled handful of a sister, Lizzy (Mekia Cox). Secretly, the duo were two of the best spies the CIA had ever known, until they fell in love on the job five years ago and retired.

My Take: It’s J.J. Abrams, so I’ll at least give it a try, but the concept alone is getting played out quickly these days (Mr. and Mrs. Smith, Killers, Knight and Day). Also, I don’t understand why NBC didn’t pair this with Chuck, which seems like a natural lead-in … oh wait, I do understand it – the people running NBC are idiots.

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The Whole Truth
ABC (Premieres: Wednesday, Sept. 22 at 10 p.m.)

Synopsis: This unique legal drama chronicles the way a case is built from the perspective of both the defense and prosecution. Showing each side equally keeps the audience guessing, shifting allegiances and opinions on guilt or innocence until the very final scene.

Kathryn Peale, the product of a New England background and a sheriff father, is the Deputy Bureau Chief in the New York State District Attorney’s office. Jimmy Brogan, born and raised in Hell’s Kitchen and a friend of Kathryn’s since their days at Yale Law School, is one of New York’s rising criminal attorney stars. Buoyed by their respective teams, these evenly matched lawyers — each with a strong streak of competitiveness, a fervent belief in their clients and an equally intense passion for the law go about creating two different stories from the same set of facts. As this up-close, behind-the-scenes look at the legal process mirrors the excitement of a championship match, it becomes evident that truth has nothing to do with innocence or guilt — at the end of every trial, the only thing that matters is what the jury believes.

My Take: Calling your legal drama “unique” doesn’t make it so. This is how the legal system works. Both the prosecution and the defense present their side of the story and the rest of us are left to draw our own conclusions about what happened. You’re not exactly reinventing the wheel here, ABC.

Joel Murphy is the creator of HoboTrashcan, which is probably why he has his own column. He loves pugs, hates Jimmy Fallon and has an irrational fear of robots. You can contact him at murphyslaw@hobotrashcan.com.

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  1. Lars September 1, 2010
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