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Series debut: Jimmy Smits in Outlaw tonight and Friday

In television on 09/15/2010 at 7:06 am

Series name
Outlaw

Debuts
Well, technically it debuted Tuesday, Sept. 14 at 10 p.m. ET on Global (missed it by THAT much), but you’re in time for its NBC debut tonight, Wednesday Sept. 15, at 10 p.m. ET. It repeats, by the way, on Friday night on both Global and NBC at 10 p.m.

Regularly airs
Fridays at 10 p.m. on Global and NBC

Premise
After a fat-cat run on the Supreme Court of the United States of America, Cyrus Garza decides that following the law doesn’t always lead to justice. So in front of a packed courtroom, he quits and pledges to pursue justice as a lowly lawyer. A lowly lawyer with an amazing house with an even more amazing rooftop basketball court/deck. Also, he has father issues what with Cyrus being a right winger and his father not so much. Finally, you should know he gambles and loves women.

Primary cast and crew
Jimmy Smits (Dexter, NYPD Blue) is Cyrus Garza

Jesse Bradford (Flags of Our Fathers, W) is brilliant but sometimes humourless Eddie Franks or, as one female colleague calls him, “Harvard”. I believe he will have the tireless task of saying, “But Cyrus, is that LEgal?”

Carly Pope (24, Californication, Young People F—ing) is Lucinda Pearl, who is a cocky, raven-haired investigator who wears a lot of clingy black clothing and heels and uses her sexuality to throw off her targets and her colleagues. Of course this “Lucinda” character is not a cheap rip-off of The Good Wife’s investigator “Kalinda”. No. Couldn’t be.

Ellen Woglom (Californication, Crash) is Mereta, Garza’s law clerk. This gal Friday gets it done. And also manages to pack her scenes in the pilot with “Oh I’m just stupid why did you hire me? Is it ’cause I’m pretty?” and another that I won’t spoil but made me bark with laughter at its ridiculousness. Of course the poor girl didn’t write the scenes.

David Ramsey (Anton in Dexter, Pay It Forward) is Al Druzinsky, brilliant defense lawyer and, according to the website bio, Cyrus’s childhood friend (although the age difference requires a little suspension of disbelief, with Smits born in 1955 and Ramsey, according to Wikipedia so who knows, 1973). It’s clear from the scenes between the two, that the writer/creators wants this character’s historical connection to Cyrus’s past to be solid.

But what do I know anyway? After having seen the pilot I predict…
I know people like Jimmy Smits, but not just any Jimmy Smits show. The 2007 family drama Cane was a horrible overblown affair. This is more the slick Smits. Too slight for me for a couple of reasons. Logic: Quitting the supreme court? Character consistency: Smits’ Cyrus is all swagger and authority in the first half of the revamped pilot, but loses his bluster without much of the expected recovery. Supporting character weakness: They stole the great Kalinda character from Good Wife but missed the heart; Cyrus’s law clerk is a doofus who embarrasses and denigrates herself and then seems to forget to resolve the expected arc of proving herself worthy, and I didn’t care. David Ramsey is watchable, but this role is too thin for him.

Other reviews

Outlaw gets a Metacritic score of 44 out of 100, based on eight critics’ reviews.

Official website
Background on the show, the characters and actors, with videos, social media links and games, including Justice for All: “Do you know your rights? Or will the Supreme Court take you down on a technicality? Play now!”

Twitter

Facebook

Can’t wait for the next new-series preview?
Sunday-night series Boardwalk Empire and Call Me Fitz.

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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