“I hope you don’t confuse me with the kind of lawyer that defends guilty
I swear to G-d, that is an actual line of dialog from GIRLS CLUB,
the new lady lawyer series from David E. Kelley. A criminal defense lawyer
said this in the courtroom, during questioning, and the judge and
DA did not break into peals of laughter for some reason. It was a Serious
That line might make sense if this were some sort of broad
comedy; it is not. It is, at heart, a drama with some attempts
at David E. Kelley’s patented over-the-top moments, but the
patent has run out and the top is not even seen.
Three pretty young lawyers are cursed with working in an
office where they are expected to do their jobs well, the
horror! And some of their clients may not be honest, oh my!
But they do achieve some victories — if you can root for someone
when they find a clever way to extort money from innocent folks.
The show started with a big-breasted woman in a tight top
that failed to hide areolas waking her carefully-tossled-hair cutey roommates
to talk with them. It felt like I was watching some Showtime
cable film in which former Penthouse Pets played sorority sisters.
Then it segued into the Bowie/Queen collaboration “Under Pressure”
while some nice tricky camera work showed us people living under
pressure. And that was where the show peaked. Despite appearances
by a variety of actors that I like in supporting rolls (Bill Cobb,
Felicity Huffman, Giancarlo Esposito) and directing by Todd Holland
(who made Malcolm In The Middle what it was when it was good, and
whose small-screen credits include The Larry Sanders Show, Twin
Peaks, Friends, Max Headroom, and My So-Called Life, so he’s been a
class act), this show falls down on concept and writing, and I
don’t foresee it getting up.
It’s not the saddest thing of the season, though. A new show not
being very good is to be expected, and it’s a temporary disappointment at best.
It’s not even the second saddest thing of the season; that award goes
to Saturday Night Live, following up a fairly strong season with one
that is averaging about one laugh per episode. Even at its best, SNL has
always been hit-or-miss, but the hits make it worth it. At the moment,
however, I see little excuse to wade through the non-comedy being
But the saddest thing of all is the ads which are trumpeting the newest
addition to Scrubs. They’re taking the finest new comedy of last
season, one which built itself a nice little following, and to make it
even better they’re adding Heather Locklear!
Heather Locklear??? I have yet to see a sitcom star with
less sense of comedic timing or delivery. My wife and I used to
sit aghast and unbelieving as she would kill any possible comedic
moment on Spin City, a show which had never quite lived up
to being the sum of its parts but which utterly fell apart when she
was shoehorned in. To allow her on another sitcom is a case of
dubious judgment; to put her into a quality work and announce that
as if it were some sort of special treat for the viewer is sad, sad,