In the US: Wednesdays, 10pm Eastern/9pm Central, ABC In the UK: Not yet acquired
So with most legal dramas (eg The Defenders, LA Law, Shark, The Deep End et al), you have a very obvious set-up. You have the heroic/anti-heroic lawyers who have to defend/prosecute the obviously guilty/innocent defendant. By the end of the episode, said defendant is proven guilty/innocent thanks to our hero's/heroes' resourcefulness. Cue the next episode.
Producer Jerry Bruckheimer likes to mix things up a little bit. For example, with 2006's Justice, although our heroes were the intrepid defending attorneys, we never knew until the end whether the client was actually guilty or not - all we knew was that our lawyers were going to defend them to the best of their abilities, using whatever tricks they had up their sleeves.
The Whole Truth builds on this and takes it one stage further. Here we have both a heroic defending counsel and a determined prosecutor and we get to see both sides of the case built, with both lawyers using whatever tricks they can come up with to win. And at the end, we find out whether the defendant was actually guilty or innocent.
Sounds good, doesn't it? Certainly, with Rob Morrow (Northern Exposure, Numb3rs) as well as Maura Tierney (ER, Rescue Me) on board, you'd be thinking that we were onto something good. However, while you won't feel the pain you might get from watching The Defenders, The Whole Truth is still quite an average legal drama that you can quite easily ignore without feeling you're missing out on the cultural zeitgeist.
Here's a trailer, followed by another, almost identical trailer - see if you can spot the difference.
In the US: Wednesdays, 8/7c, NBC In the UK: Not yet acquired
I really wanted to like this. It's a spy show (cool). It's about a husband and wife team (cool, Mr and Mrs Smith notwithstanding). It's from JJ Abrams (cool). It's supposed to be fun and action-packed (cool). It's got two black leads, one of them secretly British (cool, even if she has been in Bonekickers), one of them currently in a film with Ali Larter (so very cool).
Undercovers should be awesome with a side-helping of absolutely awesome.
Yet I was very far from captivated by this first episode, in which two married CIA agents turned caterers are brought back out of retirement to continue one of their old investigations. Or was it because the wife used to date the guy who's missing? Or was it because of gruff Gerard McRaney's special side project?
You see: that's how uncaptivated I was.
Damn. I was really hoping for a halfway decent new show this season.
Allow me to cut to the quick: James Belushi and Jerry O'Connell star in The Defenders.
Still here? Ah, you don't watch much TV do you? If you did, you'd realise that having either names, let alone both, in the cast list of a TV show is enough to guarantee extreme dreadfulness and/or cancellation (cf According to Jim, Carpoolers, Rex is Not Your Lawyer, Do Not Disturb).
Now, while The Defenders doesn't sink to the same levels as Do Not Disturb, this legal dramedy about two Las Vegas lawyers - originally intended to be part of a reality show about Las Vegas, until the producers realised the two lawyers they were working with had some very interesting stories - has very little going for it.
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A UK media blog focusing on the best scripted TV from around the world, with daily news, views, exclusive reviews and good conversation. There's a bit of a bias towards the latest and greatest US TV, but we also cover Scandinavian, Canadian, European and Antipodean TV, as well as UK TV ranging from new Doctor Who to old Z Cars, and BBC4 to S4C.
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I'm Rob Buckley, a freelance journalist who writes for UK media magazines that most people have never heard of, although you might have heard me on Radio 5 Live's Saturday Edition or Afternoon Edition. I've edited Dreamwatch, Sprocket and Cambridge Film Festival Daily; been technical editor for trade magazine Televisual; reviewed films for the short-lived newspaper Cambridge Insider and the equally short-lived Death Ray and Filmstar magazines; written features for the even shorter-lived newspaper Soho Independent; and was regularly sarcastic about television on the blink-and-you-missed-it "web site for urban hedonists" The Tribe. I'm freelance now and have contributed to the likes of Broadcast, Total Content + Media, Action TV, Off The Telly, Action Network and TV Scoop.