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November 22, 2014

Review: The Deep End - Pilot (series premiere)

by Jane Boursaw, posted Jan 22nd 2010 5:18AM
The Deep End: Pilot
(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?

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13 Comments

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verasdi

I hate it! Unbelievable how a team of great people can produce such a stupid series. I watched the first two episodes, don't need anymore.
This is as ridiculous as it gets.
Noooooooooo

February 04 2010 at 8:34 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
jason

Are you kidding me? My wife and I had to dump the Tivo after 10 minutes of over acting and BS dialogue. A little reality, like the wonderful law drama "The Good Wife" would have been welcome. It was just a bunch of snotty pampered "first year med, er lawyers acting. Of course I could be wrong!

January 23 2010 at 8:36 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
ava

I loved the deep end! I thought that the costumes were done really well, and potrayed each character nicely. The cases reminded me a little of Law and Order, (which I love). I will be a regular watcher, for sure.

January 23 2010 at 8:16 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Takayo

Just managed to get this, since my satellite was out (thank God for Hulu). I like this show. Although I'm not sure if Rachel Lefevre is going to be around for long, she was half the reason I was even watching (I've enjoyed her since Big Wolf on Campus, which probably no one remembers), but she's billed as a "special guest star". Oh well.

Other than that, I really like the "interns" but the Partners and big dogs of the firm all feel like the same character, with the exception of Rowdy. I guess it's part of the vetting process as they put the fresh meat through the grinder, but it's still a little annoying. Then again I'm sure their characters will be fleshed out as the series progresses.

One thing this show has right out of the gate that Grey's Anatomy still doesn't have, at least to me, is an actual enjoyable main character.

Put me down for regular reviews, cause I'll be a regular watcher.

January 23 2010 at 2:21 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jimmy

Meh. Medicore plot and mediocre acting. I'll watch Bones instead.

January 22 2010 at 9:11 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Garrett

Whats not to love? They tried to cram so much into the first episode and there are way too many characters. How am I supposed to want to come back and watch any of them more? Will give another episode a try though. Oh yeah definitely the Black Eyed Peas music is not to love.

January 22 2010 at 4:07 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Kristi

I think they're promoting it like that because it so closely shadows Grey's Anatomy's first season. New first years that have to juggle higher-ups, cases, and the complexity of work vs. play relationships. I liked it because it reminded me how good Grey's was in their first season and look forward to seeing where this goes.
http://www.orble.com/teevee-the-deep-end-premiere/

January 22 2010 at 11:43 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Kristi

I think they're promoting it 'from the network that brought you Grey's Anatomy' because it basically is Grey's Anatomy in a law firm. The new first years coming in (just like the first year residents coming into the hospital), and the complications of work and play in relationships...it's very similar in my opinion and reminded my of how good Grey's was their first year, because it was all about how twisted could the relationships get.
http://www.orble.com/teevee-the-deep-end-premiere/

January 22 2010 at 11:41 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jake

Total crap.

Big law firm life is not even remotely close to this portrayal. Like:

Actual Biglaw associate life (here) and
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The Deep End (Here).

As if there weren't enough influences out there to make people hate me for my job...

January 22 2010 at 11:20 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Jake's comment
Kari

I totally agree! There's no chance in HELL a first-year is going to court in the first YEAR, let alone the first two weeks. First-years know nothing, and they are even not permitted to think strategy until told to do so.

I bet I feel the way doctors do when watching medical drama. This is such complete crap I am embarrassed for it.

January 25 2010 at 3:51 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Gig

Good show but it had the worst promotion tag of any show ever. "From the Network that brought you Grey's...."

Not producer, not writer, but network.

I think my local theater ought to start promoting all movies with "At the theater where you saw [enter Oscar winning movie herre]"

January 22 2010 at 11:15 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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