Friday, January 13, 2012

The Firm

Since I'm a lawyer, people assume I'm a big John Grisham fan. The truth is, I've read maybe two or three of his books, but wasn't really impressed. Perhaps it's because I was reading them when I was younger, but I found them overly complicated and wasn't really emotionally invested in any of the characters.

The movie, The Firm, however, will always have a special place in my heart. It was the first R-rated movie that my Mom took me to see in the theater and I remember she covered my eyes at the sex scene. When I was 13 years old (in 1993). Still, I appreciate her taking me to see something that was rated well above my age group. Though now that I think about it, she probably took me because she wanted to see it and didn't have anyone to go with her.

But no matter. The point is, it's been almost 20 years since the film version of The Firm came out, so when NBC decided to make a prime time drama of the same name I was kind of perplexed. Was there some kind of public outcry for a tv show to revisit a story that was relevant almost a generation ago? Or is NBC just so desperate for shows that they are digging far into the bottom of the barrel?

Whatever the answer to that question, the outcome is a positive one because the two hour pilot to the firm didn't suck--in fact, it was kind of good.  I realize that many critics disagree with me on this point (including Mo Ryan, whom if you don't read you really should), but hey. I didn't get to have a blog that has 17 followers by going along with what everyone else said. And I liked The Firm, so there.

Of course, it seems the American people disagree with me since almost nobody watched it. Oh, well.

FYI, this is how all lawyers look out of windows. They teach us this at law school so we will appear as creepy as possible.

You should watch the show and then maybe it will stick around! Here are the basics: Josh Lucas (the cute guy from Sweet Home Alabama) plays Mitch McDeere, a lawyer. Shocker. We pick up ten years after the events of the book and film, where Mitch worked undercover for the feds to bring down a powerful and shady law firm with huge mob connections. Turns out after he got the necessary evidence to get the firm for overbilling (apparently the new mail fraud), the big mob boss who was represented by the firm decided that Mitch and his family had to go and put out a hit on him. So Mitch, his wife and kid, his private investigator brother, and his feisty Girl Friday assistant (played by Juliette Lewis) all go into witness protection. 10 years later, the mob boss is dead, and Mitch decides it's time to come out of hiding and become a sole practitioner working on criminal law and tort cases.

That's where the tv series picks up.

Turns out Mitch has a friend from law school who works for a big firm in town and wants him to join to create their criminal law division. The pilot is concerned with several subplots, namely: will Mitch once again join a big firm? Is the mob still out to get him and his family? How short will Juliette Lewis' skirts get? And why is EVERY LAW FIRM EVIL?

The pilot also concerned itself with a couple of Mitch's current cases, so you get your dose of legal drama. Including a case involving a young girl that may explain why that new law firm is so eager to add Mitch to their payroll....

What do you mean the mob is trying to kill us? We're so likeable!
Overall, I thought the show was enjoyable. The actors are all good, oh and it totally has Six from Battlestar Galactica! It's always nice to see Tricia Helfer again. In fact, there are a lot of familiar faces here. But anyway, the show made deft use of flashbacks to explain things to the viewer (most of which I already told you here), and I think it's worth checking out. I want to know more about the mysteries surrounding the new firm and I think Mitch's cases and associates are interesting. I'm not sure this will ever rise to the level of say MUST SEE TV, but a solid drama with twists and turns may be just what the doctor ordered. And who doesn't love a good old evil corporation?

The Firm airs Thursdays at 10pm on NBC.

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