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.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.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.
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.
- May 31, 2003