Review: The Deep End - Pilot (series premiere)
by Jane Boursaw, posted Jan 22nd 2010 5:18AM
(S01E01) "Are we supposed to love this job or hate it?" - Dylan Hewitt
I like this show! Let's face it. Grey's Anatomy is dying, and The Deep End is Grey's Anatomy (the early years, that is), only with lawyers. It's got plenty of snappy dialogue, romantic sparks, inter-office power struggles, handsome people in nice clothes, office sex, Black-Eyed Peas tunes and cupcakes! What's not to love?
It didn't take long to get into the meat of the show. In the first 15 minutes, we had the setup and got a peek at all the characters. The story follows fresh-out-of-law-school attorneys who are dropped into the Sterling firm and scurry around to find their footing and please the higher-ups. The firm's promise to nurture the young newbies is quickly replaced with dropping them into the deep end and letting them flounder around. It's every man and woman for themselves!
We also got some interesting cases, including a widowed woman whose mother-in-law was trying to gain custody of her grandson. Only we learn later that the mother-in-law actually carried the baby as a surrogate, so she gave birth to her own grandson. I know the kid was nine, but the grandmother/surrogate seemed a little old to me. Whatever. Good genes, I guess. She was played by Richard Burton's daughter, Kate, after all.
The Deep End has some great actor creds, too: Billy Zane (about 153 feature films, including Titanic), Tina Majorino (Veronica Mars, Big Love), Mehcad Brooks (Eggs on True Blood), Rachelle Lefevre (Victoria in the Twilight franchise), Richard Grant (Owen Thoreau, Sr. on Men of a Certain Age), and so it goes.
Let's take a closer look at a few of the characters:
Dylan Hewitt (Matt Long) -- Ambitious, smart, uses justice and fairness as his guiding light. Not willing to take the easy way out or give his clients any less than the best.
Addy Fisher (Tina Majorino). Eager to please, stands up for her clients and friends. Pushed around by her bosses, but grew a spine in this episode and was rewarded with a hot case.
Beth Branford (Leah Pipes). Ambitious, fueled by her family's legacy of attorneys. Struggles to please her top-dog attorney dad. Attracted to Liam.
Cliff Huddle (Billy Zane) - Intimidating, always thinking about the money, married to the firm's head litigation partner, Susan. He's also the firm's managing partner and is known as "the Prince of Darkness."
Hart Sterling (Clancy Brown) - The firm's "old guard," concerned with philanthropy and values. Just back from a three-year leave of absence to care for his ailing wife, who passed away.
Liam Priory (Ben Lawson) - Born in Australia and educated in England. Handsome, smart, great athlete, ladies' man, prankster. Attracted to Beth.
Malcolm Bennet (Mehcad Brooks) - Brilliant, socially conscious USC law grad who joined the firm at Hart's behest (which drives Cliff nuts, because he was hired outside the normal process).
Rowdy Kaiser (Norbert Leo Butz) - Sterling's chief talent scout, the firm's "fixer" a la Michael Clayton. Lives high and has lots of bad habits.
Susan Oppenheim (Nicole Ari Parker) - Smart, cut-throat, steely lioness who's not afraid to ruffle a few feathers. Loves her husband Cliff, but struggles with his philandering, manipulative ways. Trouble ahead.
So what did you think of The Deep End? Want regular reviews?