As a big fan of Sarah Shahi on Life, I was actually kind of looking forward to seeing her on a new show. Not necessarily a legal show, since I kind of hate legal shows, and not necessarily a USA show, since they tend to be a little... lightweight? Even Burn Notice is fairly consequence-free and light on drama, despite weekly explosions and gunfights. But since Life was a lot of fun, too, I was willing to give it a shot. I don't know if I'm going to ever watch it again, but the first episode was certainly... fun.
Shahi plays a mediator at a law firm formerly run by her father, now run by her young, widowed stepmother. She lives on her father's sailboat, and is still sleeping with her assistant district attorney ex-husband, like so many fictional characters seem to do. She balances the episode between a court-ordered mediation (about a lost antique wedding ring, which is comical and resolved fairly easily) and a private client's legal dilemma, which involves a lot of investigation and sussing out of lies and plays off like an episode of Lie to Me, except that Cal Lightman does it by looking at you, while Shahi has to ask a lot of questions.
Shahi is a lot more fun here than her dour character on Life, and does a lot of hilariously running around the streets of San Francisco trying to catch taxis and trolleys between the office, the prison and the courthouse. There are some familiar faces on the show: Ethan Embry appears briefly as her brother, Battlestar's Michael Trucco plays her hot-and-cold ADA ex and Gerald McRaney plays a judge -- one of many celebrity judge appearances, I'm sure. But some newer faces are nice, too -- her assistant (Baron Vaughn) is a nerdy gamer who provides some funny moments, like when she smashes his limited-edition Buffy the Vampire Slayer watch, or when his Warcraft playing inspires a more aggressive tactic. And I don't know if the Wizard of Oz ringtones on her phone for the various people in her life signifies anything in particular, but it's a fun touch. ...Did I mention the show was fun? Just not particularly gripping or unique.
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