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I had long since abandoned network TV, but this one had a pretty good premise and James Woods is perfectly cast.
Some great chemistry with all these egos (DA, LAPD brass, defense lawyers), and the daughter adds some depth and a human side his character tries hard to hide.
Sure, there's overlap with his character in the McMartin Pre-School movie, but still worth putting down the remote for an hour on Thursday nights.
A must see for James Woods fans, and this show could earn him some new ones.
Sadly, the series is a one trick pony (crime-suspect-twist-shark prevails) which means it can't run forever, so get it while you can and immerse yourself in witnessing a true master of his craft revelling in a vehicle tailor made for his talents.
Woods owns this show from beginning to end. NO one else could make this work anywhere near as well. And the best part is his supporting cast doesn't seems to mind just following along.
That said, his support does a great job. And is it just me, or does Henry "Isaac" Simmons resemble WWE's "The Rock?" Woods' snarky attitude combined with the character's never-say-die motif make every scene he's in a joy to watch. And the trial scenes are a blast.
Welcome to TV James. Keep the greatness going.
Recently crime and/or drama series have started to become repetitive. They seem to have lost some of their edge. 'Shark' was obviously made to blow out the cobwebs.. very refreshing..!
James Woods is excellent as 'Shark'.. very believable as the 'dad'.. It will be interesting to see how he balances that with his work.. However i hope the series WON'T be concentrating too much on that..
I like the way the story progresses towards a huge ending.. you know its going to be exciting..! The courtroom scenes are really believable, very intense..
Extremely gripping stuff.. About time too..
As a divorced man, with a very precocious daughter, Woods is engaging as he gets his staff to battle crime literally. He is a forever driving force with his group. Nonetheless, his actions pay off.
Danielle Pannabaker co-stars as his daughter, very bright but not that perceptive. At the end of each show, the stories generally focus about her. The girl knows how to get in trouble. I hope that tragedy will not ensue.
Each week we are presented with a murder case. The obvious always doesn't pan out.
Where was an Emmy nomination for Woods last season?
But the premise is pretty neat. A highly paid, highly successful defense lawyer - James Woods - is forced into service on the other side of the barrister. He is now a district attorney for the state of California. Plus, he's asked to go after the same celebrities he used to defend.
So the episode plots of "Shark" could have it both ways - indulge in the scintillating glitz and seedy glamour of Hollywood while simultaneously bringing those sinners down every week. All with a great, snarky, brash anti-hero.
Unfortunately, the last third of the pilot started to get a little sappy and predictable (the main character begins to soften a little too quickly for my taste, no doubt helped by his unrealistically wise and aware daughter), but I still have hope.
Jeri Ryan, Danielle Panabaker and Henry Simmons are OK. Unfortunately, the actors playing his young assistants appear to have been chosen for their looks rather than their acting skills. They are generally bland and uninteresting. Sarah Carter is the worst - you would think she is on a catwalk. She always seems to be trying to show off her looks and dare not have a expression on her face unless it cracks. Is she a shop window dummy or something?
However, I would like to make a special mention for Alexis Cruz: he is inexperienced but he makes an effort. I wish him well.
It's nice to see a super-smart lawyer help put away the bad guys, but "Shark" is so unlikable, so devoid of any principles, so arrogant and hyper - eventually people tune out.
Hey, James Woods is a great actor, a super-intelligent guy in "real life," and always interesting....but his role here is just way too obnoxious. His young group of assistants are all PC-sickening people. "Shark"s incredibly beautiful daughter, played blandly by Danielle Panabaker, is also a Hollywood stereotype: a kid smarter than her parents. The fact that her father is an extremely successful lawyer makes it all the more ludicrous when the daughter wins every argument.
I go could go on and on, but what's the point? The show is history, and that's no surprise. Watching the first two episodes back-to-back for two hours the other night was enough for me. The writers of this show outsmarted themselves.
Other than that, this show really is about what makes the US so appealing to the rest of the world. Cool guys, hot babes and a lot of high class entertainment. If only the real world could be as cool as this. But has anyone noticed that, while a few years back, it used to be cool to be in the defense side, nowadays the "heroes" are on the side of the law. The times are-a changing - back.
It's not a bad show, but it's not as good as Boston Legal, not by far. The acting is OK, the camera work is mediocre, and the writing is average. Ho hum. Another average court show. If I wanted to watch that I'd watch one of the dozens of law and order knockoffs. There's no real catch to this show.
The thing that differentiates SHARK from other Lawyer series we have seen.... From Raymond Burr's 301 episodes of Perry Mason, to present day shows such as L.A.Law and Law and Order, we have seen just about every possible story line under the sun......... I mean---- come on, is there anything else to explore here???
But, James Woods explores the proverbial DARKSIDE of the Legal business. From switching sides of the aisle, transforming from a high price advocate for drug dealers, murderers and other assorted low life's in LA County, to a RULES adverse Special District Attorney, Woods shows some of the antics that occur behind the scenes in the screwed up legal system.
These shows need to show the personal lives of the people involved to keep the viewer interested. Shark does not let us down in this respect. Instead of showing some fairytale life of the rich and famous of L.A.. Woods is a Divorced, single parent of a teenager, played surprisingly well by Danielle Pannabaker. The give and take between Woods and Pannabaker is an excellent sub-plot for the series and the writers of the series give Pannabaker several key story lines in the first season. Pannabaker handles these roles like a seasoned professional. She had to raise her game to fit in with Woods.
All in all, Shark is wildly entertaining. You know it is a good series when you find yourself eagerly awaiting the next installment ---- or is that the next "SHARK ATTACK????
With that said, I find the show's story structure silly. It's not that the stories aren't interesting (some more than others). It's that it's ludicrous to have the D.A. show up on every crime scene. To bring the case to court before it's been investigated and frankly to have the D.A. doing all the investigating.
Instead of a great court room drama, we get just another Cop show, albeit one where the police apparently don't gather the evidence and turn it over to the D.A.
I almost wonder if the reason Woods wants out is because the entire story structure is so implausible. Heck, why does an investigator for the D.A., more often than not, lead the police on raids to get a suspect? I wanted to like this show and for a few episodes, I did, but having DAs and ADAs acting like cops more than lawyers makes it impossible to suspend my disbelief.
James Woods creates a great character. He drives the show simply by the powers of his personality. In fact, his manic energy overpowers everything else on the screen. It works for the first season. His energy literally powers the whole show. However, it never developed enough support from the other characters. The second season just deteriorated. Without more support, Woods' act gets tiring.
After watching first episode I was hooked, in every episode you just wonder whats Shark gonna do, is he gonna do this or that, it's incredible.
I highly recommend this to be watched, it's fun to watch, interesting, the plot of series is amazing, producers and writers have done their job excellent. I hope they will continue shooting this show. And I will be waiting. I give this show a solid 10.
I am so worn out on this treatment of intelligent, enticing, involving TV. Being a tad biased regarding the Great James Woods, I really enjoyed him in a weekly outing with a great cast. Even Jeri Ryan did great, totally shedding the bloat-image "Seven of Nine" boring image. Every time I see people from Shark on other series I still head over to IMDb to see what they went off to since departing one of the more fun and well done series in the past 20 years. ...love to see the TV gods fold Shark's characters into occasional appearances on the new "The Defenders". Yeah that's it- that could be the ticket!
Happy 2011 to all.
The strike really did this show in, as it did many others, but I really think this one gets added to the long, long list of really good shows that got canceled before their times.