October 7, 2010

"Outlaw" Debuts

The Blog of Legal Times takes aim at Outlaw, Jimmy Smits' new legal drama on NBC. Pow! Smash! Bam! Generally, BLT doesn't like the new show. Here's an excerpt.

Maybe it was when Jimmy Smits' character, Supreme Court Justice Cyrus Garza, got into an argument with a comely American Civil Liberties Union lawyer who was picketing a public appearance of his -- followed shortly by the two of them sleeping together.

Or maybe it was the scene in which a U.S. senator ominously threatens Garza with impeachment or bodily injury if he votes a certain way on a pending case. Or it could have been a dozen other scenes in which NBC's new show "Outlaw," which aired last night, asks viewers not just to suspend their disbelief but throw it out the window. The show in every way seemed to fulfill most critics' expectations, which were that 'Outlaw' is a stinker that won't and shouldn't last longer than it takes to say non compos mentis.

Other reviews here: from the Sun-Sentinel; from the Seattle Post-Intelligencer; from the New York Post; from the Boston Herald.

I decided to watch the premiere (which I missed) and another episode online. After about fifteen minutes, I threw in the towel. Never mind that Smits' character has little of the affect of a Supreme Court Justice. Never mind that a real Supreme Court Justice is not likely to allow a young woman to flounce about in his anteroom or sit seductively on his desk. Never mind that a Supreme Court Justice is likely to come on to a woman he doesn't know in public. Ick. And what awful procedural slips. An SCJ does not issue a stay of execution AND send the case back for retrial all by his lonesome. Yes, yes, I know, legal dramas don't have to be completely true to life, but this show really does veer pretty far from what I at least can accept, much as I love legal shows and TV drama in general. What can other viewers accept?

I also watched the second episode as aired. This one I liked a little better. The acting, I thought, good. Mr. Smits always amazes me, and the rest of the cast is good. But again, the plot was average.

"Outlaw" should be outlawed. I give it (maybe) one more episode. Too bad. I like Jimmy Smits as an actor. He needs better material than this.

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