Seriously, it's the story about a lawyer and a news show producer who have a deal for their mutual benefit. It's either symbiotic or parasitic, but he gets to pollute the jury pool, she gets to fill airtime. And their real life counterparts, Mark Geragos and Wendy Walker, are executive producers, so I figure this is going to be Mark Geragos rewriting history so he doesn't look like a total loser who only defends guilty clients.
Even worse, this is set in the usual timeslot for Scandal, sandwiched between two other Shonda Rhimes shows for the morally bankrupt. So I have to figure that it must be about morally slimy people doing reprehensible things for incoherent and / or repugnant reasons.
So far, I'm wrong.
Yes, I admit it, I'm wrong. Thus far, this hasn't played out how I thought it would. The lawyer and the producer (Daniel Sunjata and Piper Perabo) are just friends. They're not sleeping together, they've apparently never slept together, and they hang out in bars playing darts or pool.
Then there's the face of the news show, a Nancy Grace knockoff, played by Kate Jennings Grant, who sleeps around with any young handsome guy. But no, not even she's as shallow as you'd expect. By the end of episode 3, her sleeping around is actually based in some fairly serious trauma.
I'm really rather surprised.
Now, of course, you know it's fiction. After all, he's a lawyer, she's a reporter, and they both have principles. On television. I mean, Hell, is that actually allowed?
There are, of course, underhanded lawyer tricks. He's not above tampering the jury pool with a well placed sound bite, or having his client (a thinly veiled Scott Peterson) arrested at his dead wife's funeral to make sure the dummy stops his drinking binge. On the other hand, he seems to not only care that his client is innocent, but generally believes in his innocence.
There are plenty of bits of business scattered throughout that threaten to make this a soap opera. The lawyer not only had a prior relationship with the client's wife, but sleeps with her two nights before she's murdered.
There's a new office intern who, for the moment, seems to be genuinely and sincerely interested in advancing in his job. He's actually charismatic, crafty, and quick witted. Granted, I fully expect him to be the killer some times. Because, you know, being interesting, sincere and hardworking must be the sign of a disturbed mind, right?
Again, thus far, every time I expect the show to turn into a nightmare of Shondian proportions, it surprises me. There's plenty of cynicism (statements from the studio owner include: "The public will believe whatever we tell them to believe"), but it's strange when a reporter on a TV show actually emphasizes the need to VERIFY EVIDENCE. Episode three had a video recording of a rape of an unconscious woman, and the first thing she does is demand a video expert to verify it hasn't been edited, and gets a neurologist to verify the woman is actually out cold.
I'm convinced this show will, some day soon, betray me and turn into a soap opera of reprehensible people. But, for right now, I'll give it four stars, a pat on the head, and tell them not to disappoint me.