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'The Deep End' review: Just treading water

20 January 2010 8:37 PM, PST | Zap2It - From Inside the Box | See recent Zap2It - From Inside the Box news »

The young lawyers of "The Deep End" are bright, ambitious, attractive, neurotic, scared, prone to sleeping with co-workers and in awe of/deeply afraid of their bosses.

In other words, they're almost exactly like the doctors of "Grey's Anatomy" circa season one, but with suits instead of scrubs. And that's the chief issue with "The Deep End," which premieres at 8 p.m. Et Thursday (Jan. 21), just before "Grey's": Despite being populated with likable actors giving mostly solid performances, it's hard to escape the feeling that you've seen this before.

I'm hopeful that will change in the future, that the show will find a more specific voice and set itself apart. Creator David Hemingson is an ex-lawyer, and he's said a good portion of the show is based on his own experience. But the premiere is all ABC gave us to go on, and that specificity isn't there yet.

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