|Index||4 reviews in total|
I cant believe I'm the only viewer who really likes this show so far. Love the acting,the court room scenes, the summations at the end of the cases. Jimmy Smits is a great actor and as we watch it more, we will find out more and more about his character. His gambling addiction, his love life etc... I think it's really early to tell where this show is going or how it's going to pan out, but so far I think it's very promising. As far as the negative opinions, everyone is entitled to their opinion however, the show has just started. Give it a chance folks. It's way too early to either condemn or praise the show too highly, but I actually look forward to watching more episodes.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Conservative Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, Cyrus Garza, faces impeachment for his marginal conduct off the bench unless he votes the party line on the appeal of a convicted cop-killer. Garza writes the majority opinion ordering a reversal of the conviction, and announces his resignation from the court after reading the decision. The door is now open for Garza to arrange a partnership in a noted law firm and to argue the appeal of the case of the alleged cop-killer. Relying partly on legal precedent that he wrote himself, Garza convinces the appellate court judge to allow the introduction of new evidence during the appeal. This is where the plot gets all too familiar. A witness vital to the case disappears. Another, uncooperative, witness is hiding the whereabouts of a potentially crucial witness who wasn't known before and hasn't testified. How does Garza pull victory from the jaws of defeat? Rather than spoil it, I won't say here what happens. But anyone who has seen The Verdict, staring Paul Newman, can see this one coming for miles. The plot devices were lifted entirely from the 1982 film. It might be forgivable that a legal drama will involve deviation from actual legal procedure. Matlock and Perry Mason were very successful legal drama series - even though neither lawyer ever practiced law within the rules of legal procedure. Outlaw, may be an apt title for this show, as it seems it will follow the path of those legal thrillers where the thrill is more important than strict adherence to legal procedure. Fine. But what isn't forgivable is to serve warmed-over leftovers for plot lines. The vanishing witness, the sneaky way of finding the hidden witness, the smoking gun that the hidden witness kept for all those years, are each clever and valid devices for moving the story past a point of conflict and crisis. Any one, or even two, of those would have contributed to this script and served it well. Using all three was over the limit. Not since The Flintstones "reprised" The Honeymooners has one script ripped of another in such a wholesale fashion.
I wanted to like it. I love Smitts, its just too cardboard cut out. Writing is cliché. Smits character may as well be wearing a big "S" on his chest and a red cape. He shows no vulnerable side, no deeper issues to make him human and likable. And the supporting actors are not great, maybe its the writing. Plus, as usual, conservatives are evil, the only pure hearts beat in liberal's chests...I am so sick of that overcooked, generalized, message. And how does he go, in a matter of hours, from believing this guy had eleven years to fight his verdict in court and that the system, that he has served his whole life, works- to throwing away his seat on the supreme court to defend the guy? what is Smits' character basing his change of heart on? Maybe I fell asleep for a second and missed something. And surprise, the guy is innocent, it would have been more interesting if the guy was actually guilty or if he was innocent and Smits and he Godzilla size ego didn't take the deal from the prosecutor and the guy almost or does die, teaching Smitz a lesson in humility at the cost of a human life.Then he spends the rest of the season trying to reconcile his life's work with the reality of our well meaning but often flawed legal system. I am not hard to please but this one didn't make the cut.
If you wonder what a super-liberal dreams at night, you can now watch
each week on NBC. "Outlaw" refers to our hero Cyrus. Picture Tony Stark
at the beginning of Iron Man - completely copied here in the pilot
episode - the drinking and gambling in the casino, right down to the
confrontation with the politically-opposite heckler outside laced with
sexual double-entendres - and then bedding her. The script must have
been laying around somewhere and they mixed them up. But it's the
politics that shine here - heck, I lean to the left but this was just
embarrassing. The staunch conservative Supreme Court judge who "deep in
his heart knows he's wrong" (an actual quote from his dead father). Of
course he has an epiphany and forsakes the Dark Side. And just when you
think it can't get more over the top, it does. Every cliché imaginable
is thrown into this mess, starting with the standard death-row inmate
whose attorney through the entire long high-profile case was completely
incompetent; the evil legal system that just wants to railroad him;
even glimpses of the slimy Godfather-like powerful conservative Senator
who's pulling the strings. We end with the surprise witness who was in
hiding that makes all the bad right and everyone leaves smiling. If you
aren't laughing at that point you don't appreciate the absurd.
There's a lot the writers want you to swallow, mostly with Jimmy Smits, who you have to buy as a womanizing ("I don't even know the names of the last three women I slept with"), bookie-fearing ("It's not half a million like the papers say, more like a quarter million") Atlantic City-loving playboy who was confirmed as a right-wing Supreme Court Justice. Right. His Dad (who is the voice that haunts him) marched with Cesar Chavez and publicly called his kid a schmuck. Happens all the time. For the most part his fellow crusaders are all straight out of the book, but my favorite is Carly Pope's Lucinda, a sexy, edgy legal private eye carbon copy of Kalinda of "The Good Wife" (Lucinda, Kalinda - you'd think they would have at least changed the name a bit more). But where Archie Panjabi's Kalinda is played with texture and nuance mixed well with self-assured aggression, Lucinda is overblown, tight-leather-clad, and sluttish - at one point telling us how nice her boobs are. C'mon, folks. When it was finally over my wife (who is normally very patient) turned and looked at me with a twinkle in her eye saying "OK, it's really stupid, but I still like Jimmy Smits". I told her to go find a "Cane" DVD and at least enjoy him in something creative, because this sure isn't it.
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