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Series premiere: The Deep End

In television on 01/21/2010 at 12:52 am

Series name
The Deep end

Debuts
Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2010 on Global at 10 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 21, 2010 on ABC at 8 p.m.

Regularly airs
Wednesdays at 10 p.m. on Global, Thursdays at 8 p.m. on ABC

Premise
Legal tadpoles tossed into the, uh, deep end of a prominent L.A. law firm. Lots of melodrama, little bit of sex.

Primary cast and crew
Matt Long (Jack and Bobby, Ghost Rider) is Dylan Hewitt, earnest, innocent, ambitious, brilliant, cute lawyer pup.
Billy Zane (Zoolander, Dead Calm) is Cliff Huddle, the firm’s Prince of Darkness. He’s all about profit. Imperious. Mean to the associates. Mean to his partner/wife.
Clancy Brown (Highlander, Shawshank Redemption) is Hart Sterling, the firm’s senior partner. He wants to do more pro bono.
Norbert Leo Butz (Catch Me If You Can) is Rowdy Kaiser, is the partner who deals directly with the newbies. He likes to mess with their heads. He he offers to be a mentor, at best he’s going to be a “secret mentor.” Deep down, he’ll probably co me through.
Leah Pipes (Angel, The Brothers Garcia) is Beth Branford, beautiful and blonde and desperate to be taken seriously.
Tina Majorino (Napoleon Dynamite) is Addy Fisher, timid associate trying  be less timid.
Ben Lawson (Australian theatre actor) is Liam Priory, vapid sex-monger associate.
David Hemingson (Lie to Me, How I Met Your Mother) is creator/exec-producer.

But what do I know anyway? After having seen the Wednesday premiere on Global…
It’s too slick. The actors, especially Billy Zane’s Prince of Darkness, are so manically grasping at establishing the distinctness of their characters that they come off looking ridiculous. The dialogue also gusts to ridiculous. And yet… and yet, it had its moments of good rhythm and chemistry. As with most new shows, it can’t be judged by the pilot. The next few episodes will tell whether it is a legal drama with the comic snap that defines Grey’s Anatomy at its best. It could be and the producer’s involvement in Lie to Me and How I Met Your Mother makes it worth holding out hope. And damn if Billy Zane does not wear the hell out of well-cut suits.

Other reviews
The Dallas Morning News calls it shallow storytelling.

Variety says it has no depth, but could rally.

Official website
Engaging character and actor profiles under the “Dive in” table, but neighbouring tabs “Meet the Prince of Darkness” and “The Operator” and “The Fresh Faced Idealist” are all just duplicates of the character and actor profiles. Hmmm. Lots of video interviews with cast members.

Twitter
Forty-eight followers but it’s a very new account. Mostly straight-ahead “Hey remember to tune in” kind of promo, but followers all seem to get personally thanked. And one very thoughtful tweet mentioned the phone number for tracking down family in Haiti.

Facebook
There are three Deep End pages on Facebook, but it’s not clear if any of them are the official show site.

Can’t wait for the next new-series preview?
Caprica debuts on Space at 9 p.m. ET. (And for Caprica and BSG fans, a reminder that the Friday pilot is a repeat of the movie/pilot that aired last fall, which has been available on DVD for a while; new episode the following week.)

Wondering when the other new series and returning series are kicking off?
Click here for my select list of fall 2010 premieres and other important dates. Who am I to tell you what to do, but you could consider bookmarking it…

— Denise Duguay

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