Thursday, November 11, 2010

TRAILER: Sarah Shahi's New USA Series "Fairly Legal"

PLOT: Upon her father's death, Kate (Sara Shahi from "Life" and "The L Word") leaves her position at her family's San Francisco law firm and becomes a mediator. Thanks to her innate understanding of human nature, thorough legal knowledge, and wry sense of humor, Kate is a natural when it comes to dispute resolution. Except, it seems, when it comes to conflicts in her own life. Since her father's sudden to death, Kate's relationship with her new boss—her "wicked" stepmother Lauren (Virginia Williams)—has grown ever more complicated, and the situation with her soon-to-be-ex-husband Justin (Michael Trucco from "Battlestar Galactica" and "Castle"), a San Francisco ADA, is no less confusing. With help from her resourceful assistant Leonardo (newcomer Baron Vaughn), Kate's doing her best to focus on work and avoid her own problems. But with new personal challenges and tough, unconventional cases suddenly on her docket, this newly-minted mediator's skills are about to be put to the test.

SNAP JUDGEMENT: I love Sarah Shahi. I first saw her as the tough-as-nails recovering addict Dani Reese from NBC's short-lived cop dramedy "Life." I was disappointed that the series was canceled, even though I understood why, and I hoped that Shahi would find another series soon. She took some time off and had a baby, then did a guest spot on "Psych." I was afraid they'd pigeonhole her as this aggressive, tiny sexpot. (I don't know what kind of character she played in "The L Word," but I will soon since her season is available on Instant Watch.) But I'm glad she found a gig where she's just your average woman trying to make it in life.

That said, I don't really like legal dramas. I tolerated "Ally McBeal" and gave ABC's "The Deep End" a shot before it was canceled, but the only ones I can honestly say I love are CBS's "The Good Wife" and LIFETIME's "Drop Dead Diva." They both have the right amount of romantic will-they-or-won't-they storylines and legal sparring. The USA network, however, is notorious for its light and airy TV shows, from "Burn Notice" to "Psych." They don't really do "drama"—that's reserved for TNT apparently. This series will most likely have some intense scenes that can't be diluted by immature jokes or explosions. While I'm confident that Shahi can carry a series on her own, I'm not confident she has the right material or costars to do it. But we'll know for sure in January 2011 when the series premieres.

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