When it was announced that The Lyon’s Den, Rob Lowe’s new Sunday night NBC series, was set in a D.C. law firm, many folks (well, I, at least) assumed that it would be a politically-oriented drama much in the mold of The West Wing, Rob’s former series.
We (well, I) were (was) wrong. Depsite an episode subplot that let them comment on Nigerian capital punishment and the inclusion of a Senator among the driving forces of the show, at heart this program is less West Wing and more Dynasty, with some of The Practice. Lowe’s character is an upstanding lawyer for a cheap clinic branch of a major DC law firm who finds himself caught in the darkness and schemes of that firm, with various characters whose machevellian motives are not fully clear. Thrown into that is a typical single-episode law show story where one of Lowe’s clinic coworkers represents a mentally disabled man on trial for murder, replete with a “surprise” twist that should have been immediately blatant to anyone who has watched at least a dozen episode of lawyer shows.
There are a couple pieces of interesting casting. Rip Torn plays Lowe’s seemingly-corrupt senator father, and Kyle Chandler of Early Edition and Homefront plays against his innocent face as a sinister member of the firm.
The show is produced with class, but it’s not really a classy show. That doesn’t mean that you can’t use it as a guilty pleasure-type show. It’s probably worth watching a couple episodes on that basis.