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August 29, 2015

Shark: LAPD Blue

by Michael Canfield, posted Sep 29th 2006 8:29AM
James Woods in (S01E02) This opens with a game of Texas Hold'em -- James Woods' character Sebastian Stark seems to enjoy playing poker as much as the actor himself does. Then it occurs to me, maybe a show about a poker-playing actor would have been a better idea (it's only been done a couple times) rather than what this is -- another legal drama.

The case this time involves a murdered cop -- and a chance for new prosecutor Stark to enhance his reputation with the police department following his years as a high-profile defense attorney, which is a good idea for a story, so I've got high hopes starting out. However ...

Stark begins by barking orders, telling his associates to get it done " by any means necessary." I still can't tell any of the gaggle of young guns on his team -- who tramp up and down hallways in pairs spouting exposition at each other -- apart, but evidently the blonde one is nicknamed "Tinkerbell" by another associate who doesn't like her. Stark calls a second one "GQ" because he looks like a model -- not that the others don't. So don't feel bad if you don't know their names -- they don't even know each other's names.

Per usual, the prime suspect in the murder is an arrogant rich kid with a smarmy lawyer. The defense lawyer has (who'd have thought?) a grudge against Stark, who once fired him. Last week the defense attorney hated Stark because he had switched sides to the prosecution, which was supposed to be an insult to all defense lawyers, or something. Wonder why the opposing attorney will hate Stark next week?

In the building-a-relationship-with-his-daughter humanizing subplot, Shark tries teaching her to drive, muscles her driver's ed teacher, eavesdrops on his her private phone conversations, learns he can't make up for the past, etc. But, gotta love the way Stark bounces back between chewing scenery with his team, to skipping off do sensitive, soft-spoken family stuff. There's no reason for him to be involved in the investigation anyway -- every time he pops back in the office he's way ahead of whatever the junior lawyers have managed to dig up on the case in his absence.

Still not very much Jeri Ryan this week. What? Is she too expensive? So far she's been pretty much limited to one or two quick scenes in which she registers anger and a stern warning against whatever shenanigans Stark is pulling.

Long story short, Stark the shark cracks the case, smashing through the police code of silence. He breaks a key witness -- a police officer who blurts out the entire truth and confesses on the stand to planting evidence. All for the right reasons, of course, and Stark secures a conviction against the drug dealer anyway. Now he's two for two. Seems no one can stand up to Shark shouting "didn't you! didn't you!" and "admit it! admit!" at them over and over again.

Stark then offers this witness a job as an investigator for team. Huh? Yes. Incredibly, we're supposed to believe that the District Attorney's office would allow the hiring of a cop who had resigned for planting drugs as evidence. And furthermore that this cop would not be prosecuted for planting evidence -- which was revealed in open court, therefore impossible to cover up -- no matter the purity of his intentions. Such is the magic that is Shark.

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Gotta love his garage, eh? Pristine white. What is the make of his "every day" car?

I love this show and look forward to watching it.

October 02 2006 at 5:02 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

This isn't great television, but good enough that it will keep me watching.

September 30 2006 at 9:25 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Joey Geraci

Let me get this straight, Micheal. You don't seem to like this episode at all. And then I read your Smallville review. You seem to nothing but praise for that show. Wow, is all I got to say. Smallville was OK, but the acting in that show is incredibly weak (talking about side characters blending together), and the entire premise's credulity seemed stretched to the breaking point. Shark is a well-acted, well-written show. There are undoubtedly flaws (the rather weak scenes with his daughter (except for the last one) are still somewhat awkward), but into it's second episode, it has rapid-fire dialogue like no one's business, and is hella fun. That is all shows like this (or Smallville) are for anyway. This one pulled it off. Smallville crashed and burned.

September 30 2006 at 1:18 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Very nice to see Henry Simmons - made me miss NYPD Blue even more though. I'm glad they found a place for him on this show. The supporting cast seems to detract from the show - let Woods & Ryan do most of the acting.

September 29 2006 at 10:09 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I loved this show too. It was a better episode than the first one. I'm looking forward to the development of all the characters' personalities.

September 29 2006 at 2:17 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

zzzzzzzz, I slept thru it; it's so predictable.

I want more scenes with Jeri!
Providiing she is not always frowning.

September 29 2006 at 11:35 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I came in late on this episode and I didn't catch the premiere, but I loved what I saw.

The action was fast-paced and the show is lively and upbeat, but not sickeningly sweet.

September 29 2006 at 11:02 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

All I kept thinking throughout the show was "Why is Daunte Culpepper playing a cop on this show?" I know it wasn't really him, but it sure looked like him, and it would explain why my Dolphins are playing so poorly.

Other than that, I thought it was a decent episode.

September 29 2006 at 10:44 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Margaret Calvert

I loved this show. James Woods is the reason I'm watching. He's fantastic in whatever he does - live action or animation voice overs. It's true that the outcome of the show was pretty predictable, but I enjoyed it as a whole anyway. Woods is like a machine gun firing off dialogue. How could he be more perfect for this role? I think the part of the story concerning his daughter moving in with him is terrific, too. I love the mixture of the two sides of his character. Woods can carry if off just fine. And, it's nice to see an NYPD Blue alum (Henry Simmons). I'm just going to relax and enjoy the fun of this show.

September 29 2006 at 10:08 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Daisy Suggs

I enjoyed the show (9/28/06), But the police officer was a shark all by himself. In a very good way!!
I will definitely watch the show again. Please let him take the job!

September 29 2006 at 9:43 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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