Nick Fallin is a hotshot lawyer working at his father's ultrasuccessful Pittsburgh law firm. Unfortunately, the high life has gotten the best of Nick. Arrested for drug use, he's sentenced ... See full summary »

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2004   2003   2002   2001  
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 6 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Series cast summary:
...
 Nick Fallin (67 episodes, 2001-2004)
...
 Alvin Masterson (67 episodes, 2001-2004)
...
 Jake Straka (67 episodes, 2001-2004)
...
 Burton Fallin (67 episodes, 2001-2004)
...
 Louisa 'Lulu' Archer / ... (58 episodes, 2001-2004)
...
 James Mooney (45 episodes, 2001-2003)
...
 Judge Rebecca Damsen (32 episodes, 2001-2004)
...
 Laurie Solt (27 episodes, 2001-2004)
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Storyline

Nick Fallin is a hotshot lawyer working at his father's ultrasuccessful Pittsburgh law firm. Unfortunately, the high life has gotten the best of Nick. Arrested for drug use, he's sentenced to do 1,500 hours of community service, somehow to be squeezed into his 24/7 cutthroat world of mergers, acquisitions and board meetings. Reluctantly, he's now The Guardian - a part-time child advocate at Legal Aid Services, where one case after another is an eye-opening instance of kids caught up in difficult circumstances. Written by GG

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Law for profit. Justice for children. Attorney Nick Fallin walks the line.

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Drama | Crime

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25 September 2001 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El guardià  »

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(Technicolor)

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1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Raphael Sbarge didn't know his character was going to be gay until he received the script in which his character was revealed as such, in the middle of the third season. See more »

Quotes

Nick: My mom-my mom said I will always treat woman better than my father does.
Lulu: So do you?
Nick: I don't know, want to find out?
See more »


Soundtracks

The Empire In My Mind
Written by Jakob Dylan
Performed by The Wallflowers
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User Reviews

Best Drama Currently on Network Television
31 May 2003 | by (New Jersey, USA) – See all my reviews

The Guardian is hands down the best drama currently on television. It's amazing to me how Simon Baker has never won an Emmy for his portrayal of Nick Fallin - the ex cocaine addict who's forced to put in 1600 hours of community service as a child advocate for the legal aid services center in Pittsburgh. This is in addition to being a principal partner in his father's corporate law firm. Watching Nick run from the courtroom to the board room (and occasionally the bedroom) and back again with nary a moment to gather his thoughts can leave the viewer exhausted by the end of the show but this is also part of its appeal. We can feel Nick's stress and associate it with our own harried lives.

None of the central characters on this show are without their flaws - Nick is often aloof and emotionless - caring more about corporate mergers than whether or not he is best serving the interests of those he defends during his community service. He rarely gives his downtrodden, legal aid clients a second thought once he has finished representing them. His father, brilliantly played by the veteran character actor Dabney Coleman can also be abrasive, manipulative, callous and, as the second season finale graphically showed also violent and dangerously obsessed with a twelve year old girl he took in as a foster child. The interaction (or lack thereof) between the two, neither whom is able to really show their true feelings towards one another is often painful to watch.

The rest of the cast with the exception of Wendy Muniz are all expertly cast. Charles Malik Whitfield as James Mooney, the ex gang member who has escaped the ghetto to become a lawyer for the legal aid group is both menacing and heroic at the same time. One powerfull episode has him almost beating to death a young black man who he has been told caused the death of his troubled nephew. He later discovers that this person was innocent and must deal with how to come to terms with almost killing and disfiguring an innocent man. Raphael Sbarge as Jake Straka, another success driven lawyer at Nick's firm, makes us think of all the lawyers we have known who can barely give us the time of day unless the reward is large enough. Alan Rosenberg who plays Alvin Masterson, the director of the clinic, tries to keep the chaos controllable even while fighting his own demons which include an unhealthy weakness for some of his former female clients. Only Wendy Muniz fails to convince in her role as Lulu Archer, another one of the legal aid lawyers. The series' writers seem unable to decide whether she should be a foil to Nick or just another lovesick conquest. Their romantic scenes together lack passion or chemistry and often seem contrived.

All in all though this is a thoughtful, powerful, and at times, emotionally brutal show. Enjoy it while you can - it's sure to be short lived.


29 of 35 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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