Philadelphia's sights, history, architecture, residents, and personality give writers and film-makers plenty to work with, and many have. Unfortunately, it hasn't been utilized as much as it might have (and I think it deserves). From what I understand, this is mostly because it lacks a permanent soundstage. Although Ben Franklin Parkway and other areas were closed off at times over the summer for filming the outdoor shots of 'Philly', most or all of the indoor shooting is being done on the west coast. The recreated interior of City Hall looks pretty good.
'Philly' plays the Hostile City's gritty reputation to the hilt. It has drawn some heat locally for its portrayal of city corruption - but not surprisingly, I haven't heard an official word on the likelihood of a mini-skirted, model-gorgeous, whip-smart, heart of gold attorney.
I have enjoyed Philly's first two episodes, but my reception is cooled by the hero-or-villain take on some of its characters. The show makes it clear that Kathleen McGuire (Kim Delaney) has adopted a tough exterior only to do her job; she's really a gentle, altruistic soul who cries into a teddy bear at the end of a bad day (two of 'em so far). She is, at least, very strong
one wonders how she gets through what she does with her head up. But
while I'm biting on that, I'm also wondering how she - as a good judge of character - ever hooked up with her (ex-, or separated) husband, a district attorney so unlikeable only a bad writer could love him.
There are other question marks. From tonight's episode, for example: Would a resident of the city (no matter how well-meaning) leave a near-stranger, possibly guilty of a knife attack, alone in her apartment for the day? Is this the same city I live in?
Still the show has promise. It has an edge, a ready quip, a fast pace. It can amuse and surprise. Everyone in the cast appears to be up to the task of the characters they play, right down to the Judge's Pommie.
And there are some nice shots around the city. Cept, what's up with the burning trash can?
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