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Trust Me - An early look - VIDEO

by Bob Sassone, posted Jan 22nd 2009 11:57AM
Trust Me
I will guess that a lot of people think that the reason why we have another cable drama set in the world of advertising is because of the success of AMC's Mad Men. And while the honors that the 60s-based show probably gave TNT execs an extra reason to look at Trust Me and put its production into overdrive, the show has actually been in the works for a while.

The comparisons are going to come though. The shows are very different. Judging from the first two episodes, they're not only different in setting (2009 Chicago vs. 1960 NYC) and tone (faster paced, with more obvious humor than Mad Men), they're not really going for anything deep or tackling any big issues.

First, the good news: the show has a good and familiar cast of favorites. Will and Grace's Eric McCormack and Ed's Tom Cavanagh play best friends and partners at a Chicago ad agency (Mason is the creative director, Conner is the writer and idea guy). They're best buds and really close and work together too, so there are the usual tensions that come with that. Mason is married with a kid, Connor is single and looks to get laid wherever he can.

In the first two episodes anyway, Conner isn't very likable. Imagine Ed from Ed or Tom from Love Monkey, only acting like he spends $500 a week on coke and can't stop moving around or saying wacky things really rapidly. That's Conner. He's much easier to take and you root for him when he settles down a bit. It's also interesting how all of Cavanagh's characters seem the same. I don't mean that as a put down of his acting, I'm talking about what he wears and what he drinks. The characters he plays in all of his shows always have a cup of coffee in their hand and always wear a briefcase bag across their chest. I think there's something cool about that.

Now, some bad news: Jason O'Mara (Life on Mars) makes a surprise cameo as Mason and Connor's boss. He is horrifyingly bad in the role. I don't know if it's him or if it's because the tone and rhythm of the first episode is all over the place, but it really stands out, and not in a good way. Thank God he dies in the first episode.

Remember Harriet Hayes from Studio 60? If you hated her, you'll love to hate Sarah Kraijeck-Hunter. I don't get her character at all. I think we're supposed to find her maddening yet lovable, but the latter isn't really apparent yet. Maybe that will happen in later episodes. Mike Damus and Geoffrey Arend play the guys in the office who comment on everything, make wisecracks, and are jealous of the new copywriter. These characters aren't really fully developed yet, they're really just used as a device to comment on what the other characters are doing, but again, I hope that will change in future episodes. Griffin Dunne is good as the top guy in the office.

The first episode introduces all of the characters (with helpful onscreen graphics) and throws the agency into a big ad campaign that causes problems. The second episode continues the story from the first episode by having the new client unhappy with the tagline that Conner came up with. When you see what the tagline is at the end of the first episode you're probably going to have the same reaction as I (and focus groups in the episode) had. That's exactly what people would think it would mean.

This is a good show. It's not a great show yet, but it's highly enjoyable, and if you like the world of advertising (like me) you'll love the scenes that show how the group comes up with ideas for ad campaigns and deal with clients and rivals. Mad Men fans won't automatically like it just because it's set in the same world, but it's a good show in its own way. It debuts on January 26 at 10pm. Below is a quick look at the show.

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Mark Vopat

Sarah Paulson played on Studio 60, the actress in Trust Me is Monica Potter.

March 31 2009 at 10:17 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Amanda

I agree completely with Argus's comment. Way to post a spoiler without warning. I'll be a lot more wary about reading through your entire reviews in the future.

January 22 2009 at 9:17 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Joe

I'm a huge fan of Tom Cavanagh, so of course I've very excited about this. I'm hoping it will be more successful than Love Monkey, which was very much under rated. Although his work on Scrubs and Ed were great!

http"//www.joeonthetube.com

January 22 2009 at 4:36 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Bob Sassone

Sorry about that Sean, but you have to assume that a review is going to give something away. I did put it after the jump however.

If it's any consolation, it's not a big surprise he's not a regular on the show after the first ep since he's on another show right now.

January 22 2009 at 1:17 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to Bob Sassone's comment
Sean

Yea, but just putting "Spoiler Warning" in there somewhere goes a long way.

January 22 2009 at 4:20 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Argus

Bob, an early look almost never means that you give away concrete plot details. TWOP, IGN and others have explicitly stated that they don't give away details when they review a screener, its the common practice. Did adding that spoiler make your review better? No, it didn't. And what makes it worse is that you never even put "spoilers after the jump" or "review". "First look" is vague. You made a mistake, admit it and take out the spoiler.

January 22 2009 at 5:33 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Sean

Hey, man, how about a spoiler warning. I had no idea that the boss dies in the first episode, and you threw it out there without even a warning. That's a bush league move and extremely disrespectful

January 22 2009 at 12:50 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Sean's comment
nate

"First, the good news: the show has a good and familiar cast of favorites. Will and Grace's Eric McCormack and Ed's Tom Cavanagh play best friends and partners at a Chicago law firm (Mason is the creative director, Conner is the writer and idea guy)."

I assume you mean "design firm" (or creative firm or marketing firm).

January 22 2009 at 1:04 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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