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December 28, 2014

Shark -- an early look

by Michael Canfield, posted Sep 14th 2006 2:01PM
James Woods as Having read or seen next to nothing about this show -- only that it stars one of my favorite actors, James Woods (stepping away from the Hold'em table) and involves lawyering -- I found my excitement-level raise immediately in the opening scene when the action cuts away from Woods' closing arguments in a trial, to Jeri Ryan rolling her eyes at him in the courtroom audience. She plays District Attorney Jessica Devlin. Okay, I'm in for now.

Woods plays Sebastian Stark. That's Stark, not Shark. Don't call him "the Shark" he hates that, at least that's what he says, although there's evidence to the contrary too. Not unexpectedly, Stark is in love with himself, and has mad skills at getting the rich and famous off the hook. Shark the series has a "what-if" premise. What if a high-priced defense lawyer had a crisis of conscience and decided to become a prosecutor? (Slight spoilers after the jump.)

James Woods & Jeri RyanSo, in an "only on TV" turnaround, the actions of one of Stark's clients post-acquittal causes Stark to reexamine his career and values. Coincidentally, the DA's office is looking to create a special until to go after high profile, rich offenders, and all they need is the right guy to head it. It's a mismatch made in TV-drama heaven.

While this is not a David E. Kelly show, Woods' character is cut of the same cloth as any number of Kelly creations: arrogant, horny, funny. Never mind -- James Woods is a fine actor, and he looks like he's having fun here. He has good chemistry with the surrounding cast which seem to be put on this earth in order to vex him in the way that cranky leads on television from Ralph Kramden to Dr. Gregory House have always been vexed. In addition to D.A. Jeri Ryan, there's a crew of idealistic young assistant D.A.'s (picked to work with Shark because they've all screwed up in some way, natch) and Stark's sassy sixteen-year-old daughter, Julie, played by Danielle Pannabaker. Do I have to mention that Shark is divorced and in a custody battle for his daughter? Probably not.

Okay, this isn't the most original of TV set-ups, but the cast is great, the dialog sharp, and after seeing the pilot (which is directed by Spike Lee) I'd say the series is worth a look.

Shark premieres on CBS Thursday, September 21, at 10pm.

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Donna

James Woods - This actor is just amazing - can never take my eyes off him on screen. Sure hope this show makes it, this weeks writing was better, first had a few predictable lines and I thought it was going to be a problem. Love the chemistry developing with Woods and the DA - like his daughter (relationship kinda not worked out yet but like the angle) the young cast showed more promise this week. Just put Woods in front of the camera and let him talk - I will watch, amazing actor.

September 29 2006 at 4:16 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Bea

I love James Woods & the show was terrific, I hope it stays on

September 25 2006 at 8:42 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Mark Bermudez

Could someone tell me the name of the closing song and the artist who performs it, in the premier episode of Shark.
Thanks

September 25 2006 at 1:59 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jim

Hopefully this dog will die an early death. Lets check out the show; Shark defends a guy for attempted murder of his wife and wins, guy and loving wife leave court together (wife would have dropped charges and there would have been no case , also a wife can not be compelled to testify against her husband.) Next, we see our hero stomping all over a crime scene (never happen in real life folks, not even close), then the Mayor calls him and magically Shark is working for the State's Attorney. Thing is, the State's Attorney is an elected COUNTY official not a CITY appointee. Then our hero is seen heading a unit of inept attorneys at the request of the Mayor and winning an winnable cases. With a little research this could have been a good series, I was looking forward to it but alas, it was not to be.

September 22 2006 at 7:24 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jabes54

My favorite part of the show was in his mock courtroom -- he has Clarence Darrow's chair from the Scopes trial and the jury box from To Kill a Mockingbird and all kinds of courtroom icons (though I could do without Ito's gavel from the OJ trial).

I also liked that he didn't get all mushy with his daughter in the end. They just don't have that kind of relationship.

I've been a fan of James Woods for a long time, so I hope this show makes it. Though maybe with a little less make-up packed on his face.

September 22 2006 at 2:08 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
SHERYL BUFFALOE

LOVE JAMES WOODS. LOSE THE PRETTY YOUNG CAST THATS JUST THERE FOR LOOKS AND GET SOME WITH SOME ACTING CHOPS. THE LADY DISTRICT ATTY COULD ALSO BE DONE AWAY WITH. THAT JUST SETS IT UP FOR PREDICTABLE SEXUAL TENSION. HOW ABOUT JUST A GOOD STORY.

September 22 2006 at 2:05 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Matthew E. Crowley

Perry Masson Ben Matclock Jack Mycore all have been tv Lawers but the Shark so be a hit I watch the Splast night and you Jameswood kick ass I hope that this show is the new hit for the 2006/2007 seson

September 22 2006 at 4:14 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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