20 January 2012

Belated Thoughts: The Firm

The Firm takes place 10 years after the events of the movie that starred Tom Cruise.

I was initially eager for this series, but then I read lackluster reviews before watching and thought I'd be disappointed as well. But, fortunately for my viewing pleasure, I liked the first three episodes of The Firm, so far.

Josh Lucas is one fine actor. Why haven't I been on Team Josh before? On TV,  he charms the viewers in the same way only Simon Baker (as Patrick Jane in The Mentalist) can. Josh Lucas as Mitch McDeere is a better Mitch McDeere than Tom Cruise was, when he did the movie in the 90's.

I love the chemistry between Josh and Molly Parker, who plays his wife, Abby. I like how these actors convince me that they are a team.

I've liked Molly from watching her on Deadwood and I think she brings sensibility to the character she plays on this show. Something about Molly says "class and breeding" to me. It also helps that each time I look at her, I'm reminded of a childhood friend who exudes breeding quite so effortlessly.  Her take on Abby, however, is different than the movie version. Abby, in the film, was smarter and had more balls than her husband, if I remember correctly.

Though only a supporting cast member, Juliette Lewis is also a good addition as the small firm's assistant, as is Callum Keith Rennie, who plays Mitch's brother and investigator. And just like the McDeer couple, these two had chemistry that's hard to miss.

Tricia Helfer, the Cylon that so creeped me out on Battlestar Galactica,  still managed to bring a creepy vibe to this show. I've watched Helfer in several other shows she has appeared in as guest and you know what? She will always be a Cylon to me. Therefore, anytime I see her on TV, I almost expect her to do something inhuman.

Needless to say, the important characters of The Firm all gel together. I believe the casting department has done their job in choosing the right people to play the parts.  So why is this show getting only a little love from TV viewers?

  • Maybe because John Grisham and The Firm are so over. They were hot 20 years ago. Not so much today.
  • Maybe because there's already a host of law series and crime procedurals on the boob tube. The Firm is actually structured to be one (a procedural) with a different case every week, but with a big mystery tying everything together. 
  • Maybe because, while this series has potential, it's airing on network TV (NBC), which is subjected to a lot of constraints and limitations. A lot can breakdown when it comes to what the writers want to put into the show versus what the network executive wants. And most of the time, its the suits who win and then they muck the story up. Shades of it were evident in the last three episodes, I did notice that. 

I wish I'd known the real reason why this show is struggling to get an audience. Because honestly, I'd like to see where it goes after one season. If only because --- Josh Lucas is such a fine actor.

And he's got the bluest eyes I've seen on my TV screen.