Gritty legal drama that makes way for Kim Delaney to finally take the spotlight as she so deserves.
Yes, this is another Steve Bochco crime drama, but before you can turn your nose up, you should reconsider giving this show a chance. Kim Delaney made the right move to exit NYPD BLUE to take the lead role in this rightfully made star vehicle which allows her to express her talents to the utmost fullest.
She plays Kathleen Maguire, one half of a legal practice, the other played by the wonderful Joanna Cassidy who unfortunately suffers a mental breakdown in the opening episode where her position is quickly filled by an aspiring young hot-shot lawyer played by Tom Everett Scott.
The premiere episode was extremely fast-paced with several interwoven story-lines crossing over each other, but not so confusing as other character-driven vehicles such as THIRD WATCH. Unlike other court dramas such as FAMILY LAW and JUDGING AMY, PHILLY's story-lines continue through further episodes and aren't neatly wrapped before the episode's end credits roll up.
Of what I can make out from the opening episode, Kathleen is a divorced single mother who spends most of her time either at her legal practice or the Courthouse and her ex-husband happens to be a prime candidate for Governor. Kathleen is a sharp-minded woman who is portrayed as a lawyer with morals and heart (yes, also think of Amy Brenneman and Kathleen Quinlan to name a few), but its characters such as hers that we don't get tired of seeing. Who would want to watch a crime drama headed by a sleazy lawyer?
I think Steve Bochco has paved the way for a bonafide hit and something that a lot of us will still be watching once NYPD BLUE hangs up its gloves for good. Perhaps this show can make room for Dennis Franz! I was very impressed with this show and this appears to be one of this season's better offerings.
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