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October 10, 2015


Shark: Porn Free

by Michael Canfield, posted Apr 13th 2007 7:01AM
Shark(S01E19) It's the saint versus the pornographer, as someone in the episode says. An internet pornographer is murdered, ostensibly by a single man who also runs his very own shelter for wayward young women. That's handy. Apparently this particular shelter is the place in the Valley to find women with low self-esteem to lure into porn. By the way doesn't "internet pornographer" sound ever so much sleazier that just plain ol' pornographer? Evidently the Shark writers think so.

It's no surprise when "the saint" is eventually revealed to have done business with the porn king, then got out of business with him, then fell in love with one of the women he was "rehabilitating" in his shelter, who then became a porn actress, who then ... oh, who cares?

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Idol ratings are down ten percent

by Liz Finn-Arnold, posted Apr 9th 2007 4:38PM
American Idol results showThe ratings are down! The ratings are down! Is this the beginning of the end for the juggernaut called American Idol? Perhaps the Sanjaya-haters are actually following through with their threats to tune out until the controversial singer is sent packing.

Should producers be worried? Maybe just a little.

According to Nielsen, the ratings for the Tuesday night performance shows have dropped about 10 percent compared to last season (from about 31 million to 28 million viewers). And last Wednesday's results show (April 4) reportedly had the lowest ratings of the season.

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Shark: Trial By Fire

by Michael Canfield, posted Apr 6th 2007 7:41AM
Shark(S01E18) All in all, I enjoyed this hostage-crisis episode better than the previous hostage-crisis episode, "The Wrath of Khan", the one in which attorney Alexis Cruz got axed.

Evan Handler gives an enjoyable performance as the poor loser who claims he's innocent and is looking at his third strike. Handler played Hurley's probably imaginary friend Dave, the title character in a Lost episode last season and, more recently, one of the two hacky comedy writers on Studio 60, that Matthew Perry's character liked to bust on.

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Shark: Backfire

by Michael Canfield, posted Mar 30th 2007 11:57AM
Shhhhaaaaarrrrrrrkkkkkkk!!!!! (S01E17) Just under the wire, Shark sneaks a new episode into the vast desolation of repeats that is March. This time, the plot concerns the racially-charged shooting of a drug dealer and his honor-student cousin by two cops. As usual, the true culprit is not the person who Stark initially charges with a crime, but rather the person who years and years of TV-watching has told us to expect it will be: the allegedly least-likely (and therefore, most likely) candidate. The actual mystery here is why Isaac backed off his opportunity with Raina in San Diego some episodes ago. Isaac's ready to explain that now, but Raina's not in the mood, initially, to listen. She's reasonably suspicious that Isaac might just amount to a whole sack of drama and what does she need with that noise?

This is one of the better episodes. The plot-reversals, double-reversals, and triple-bogie re-re-re-reversals are not so outrageous as to sink the whole enterprise, and this allows some room for good character interaction.

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Shark: Blind Trust

by Michael Canfield, posted Feb 23rd 2007 8:41AM
Shark(S01E16) Incredible. I don't mean that as a compliment. First we are supposed to believe that 16-year-old Julie is able to keep her DWI arrest secret from a parent for an extended period. Even with Isaac covering for her, I don't buy it. Even the media finds out before Stark! And what kind of person is Isaac? He doesn't call Stark that night? Isaac is an adult, and he's keeping secrets with his friend's kid? Well, he is the guy who recommended the world's lamest bodyguard for Julie recently, so maybe I expect too much of him. All I know is Det. Baldwin Jones would never have messed this up

This isn't done because it makes sense however, but merely to set Stark up for a big feeling of betrayal to mirror the one he's going to get from this week's case...

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What's the most watched new show, Heroes or Shark?

by Bob Sassone, posted Feb 22nd 2007 8:01AM

SharkYou've probably seen all of those CBS promos that say that Shark, the new James Woods legal drama, is the "most watched new show." Then how come the Nielsen numbers say that Heroes, the new drama over on NBC, averages 14.5 million viewers while Shark averages 13.4 million?

It's because CBS is using an odd little bit of ratings math. CBS released a statement to explain why they're saying that Shark is the most watched new show. Combined with the Washington Post's explanation of what CBS is talking about, it gives me the type of headache I used to get when trying to read chemistry textbooks back in high school.

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Shark: Here Comes the Judge

by Michael Canfield, posted Feb 16th 2007 11:24AM
I wonder if my kid's bodyguard is letting her do jello shots. Nah, that wouldn't happen(S01E15) Tim Matheson guest stars as a judge and charter member of the Los Angeles Stark-Haters Club, an evidently very large and influential organization. He's also a careerist and a hypocrite. Sebastian quickly realizes the judge is guilty of murdering his own wife, and with that you have your quintessential Shark ingredients. Matheson does a good job playing the self-righteously self-righteous judge, who early-on accuses Stark of going after him because of his tough law-and-order case rulings, and finishes-up accusing Stark of homophobia. Stark's consistent though. He goes after the judge, not because of any personal or political ax to grind, but, well, because of the whole murdering-his-spouse thing.

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Shark: Starlet Fever

by Michael Canfield, posted Feb 9th 2007 10:03AM
Shark(S01E14) Yeesh. This episode was one silly drawn-out mess.

A Britney/Paris/Lindsay type starlet is run off the road and killed. Initially the paparazzi seem to be responsible, adding a touch of the Princess Di tragedy to the mix. There's a possible stalker angle. There is molestation by step-parent: a middle-aged man with an earring. An opportunistic kid sister. A fake celebrity feud started for "cross-promotional purposes." All this gives Stark and the rest of the High Profile Crime Unit plenty of beautiful people to sneer at, although, strangely, none of the guest performers cast as the various young celebrities are nearly as attractive as the gorgeous cast of series regulars.

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Shark: Teacher's Pet

by Michael Canfield, posted Feb 2nd 2007 9:29AM
Shark(S01E13) Wayne the serial killer is now a free man, so Stark puts around-the-clock protection on Julie. This gives father and daughter yet one more thing to fight about. Oh, and Jessica Devlin, evidently still on the show, thinks Stark needs a vacation, which he absolutely does. Jess even gets to play a substantial role in the conclusion of the case, for once, when Stark ends up somewhat indisposed. She even cracks not one, but two, smiles.

So what starts out as another typical Shark lifestyles-of-the-rich-famous-and-murderous takes on more resonance because of the way it effects the regular characters, which makes for a stronger overall episode.

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Shark: Wayne's World

by Michael Canfield, posted Jan 19th 2007 1:42PM
Shark starring James Woods(S01E12) After the last episode's hyper-ballistic antics, I looked forward to seeing Shark's return to good old psychological terror. Billy Campbell (The 4400), still sporting most of the beard and flowing Jesus-locks he grew on his round-the-world sailing trip a year or two ago, guest stars as serial killer Wayne. He is a more formidable villain than we've seen Stark face before. Don't even talk to me about that fizzle of an international arms dealer: the unfortunately-named Khan.

Anyway, sociopathic Wayne chooses to defends himself at trial, which puts his single surviving victim in the terrible position of being cross-examined by her own tormentor. That has happened in a few notable real-world cases, and probably a dozen Law and Order episodes, but it's an intense dilemma worthy enough of a go-around here.

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Shark: The Wrath of Khan

by Michael Canfield, posted Jan 5th 2007 8:03AM
Shark(S01E11) Well, we finally found out what (other than banging Madeleine, of course) Casey is good for. Kidnap-bait. Casey gets kidnapped by an international arms merchant. Stark and the rest of the gang channel Jack Bauer and CTU for an episode. Sort of. There are government agency turf wars, planes that can' t be allowed to leave Los Angeles, international arms deals galore, and that's all before the opening credits. It's a change of pace certainly, for our team of criminal trial lawyers.

L.A. is not quite under the threat of imminent annihilation, but Stark does note that a well-known rap group was blown up a month ago in their SUV. This attack was possibly caused, says Stark, by "plastique and Taliban surplus weapons" supplied to L.A. street gangs by this Khan fellow. Yeah, those high-grade weapons the Taliban aren't using just now and smuggled out of the Afghanistan/Pakistan border region where bin Laden is hiding to airdrop on Malibu. Khhhaaaaaan!!

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All CBS shows are secretly about Les Moonves

by Anna Johns, posted Dec 21st 2006 10:22AM
les moonvesThere's a tongue-in-cheek article over at The New York Times about a theory among television critics that all the procedurals on CBS are an homage to Les Moonves. I'm starting to subscribe to this theory (and feel a little jealous that I didn't come up with it first!). The columnist argues that procedurals such as all the CSI franchises, Without a Trace, Criminal Minds, Shark and NCIS all have a lead male character in his 50s who is a workaholic and young minions eager to please him. The writer suggests that this is how CBS chief exec Les Moonves sees himself.

The article points out that while guys like Jerry Bruckheimer produce many of the series, it's Moonves who does the hand-picking of the series that make air. And he chooses the man who will play the 'fatherly' lead roles. The writer notes that, like Moonves, none of these lead actors is bald (except Stanley Tucci, but 3 lbs was canceled after thre episodes). And, Moonves' marriage to Early Show anchor Joey Chen reflects the common storyline in these series about young, beautiful women falling in love with the married-to-work men.

Is it a waste of newsprint? Maybe. But it's still a cute poke at Moonves and all the similar series he has on CBS.

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Shark: Sins of the Mother

by Michael Canfield, posted Dec 8th 2006 9:16AM
Cast of
Instead of a friend or former associate of Stark's, it's a friend of Jessica's that is involved in a crime this time. The "mother" of title is played by Jamie Gertz who does a good job, playing a mother with more than her share of secrets. The crime has Stark a bit miffed at first, as he doesn't feel it has enough of a high profile angle for his elite prosecutorial unit.

On the home front, Stark is dealing with Julie's recent overnight stay with her boyfriend, Eddie. Or not dealing with actually, and giving his daughter what she calls "the whole passive aggressive treatment."

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How I'm going to navigate the first Thursday from Heck

by Joel Keller, posted Nov 30th 2006 12:31PM
ScrubsWhen NBC announced its new Thursday lineup, which includes Scrubs and 30 Rock, I wasn't exactly happy with it, especially since there were six shows over two networks that were can't-miss to me. What complicated matters was that, at the time, I reviewed two of those shows for TVS, so writing reviews would also be part of my evening.

I know, tough life, right? That's why I'm calling it the "Thursday from Heck" in the headline; after all, I'm watching TV and writing about it, which is much better than just about any other job I could have.

Anyway, Julia was nice enough to take the reviews for Ugly Betty off my hands, but I still have to review yet another dense and intense episode of Grey's Anatomy. But I've been so looking forward to seeing a new Scrubs, it hurts. So how am I going to negotiate my evening? I'll let you know after the jump.

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Shark: Dial "M" for Monica

by Michael Canfield, posted Nov 24th 2006 10:10AM
Stark(S01E09) Anyone not too stuffed on turkey and passed out by early-evening got the chance to see Sebastian Stark search for the murderer of one of his own, when an A.D.A. is gunned down, alongside a woman not his wife.

When he gets the call, err ... the text message, Stark is out trying to convince his daughter Julie to let him buy her a $2000 dress for some event Julie's not that shallow, but it does beg the question: how is Stark managing to maintain his lifestyle on a Los Angeles County salary? Ah, never mind, Stark's hardly the first television character to live beyond his means. Maybe he invests well.

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