September 7, 2006

TV Preview: Shark

On Thursday September 21, 2006 at 10:00, CBS will debut what could be the next sensation in courtroom dramas. If such a thing is possible. There are so many shows dealing with the courtroom, is it possible to bring something new tot he table? We already have several Law & Order series, Boston Legal, and Fox's new Justice already, do we need another? Well, I guess as long as there is television, there will be lawyer shows and cop shows. There will never be a shortage of them. If for some reason there are no new shows of this nature, you will always be able to find a Law & Order rerun somewhere at any time of the day or night.

That brings me to the new CBS series, Shark. I cannot say that the prospect of watching this excited me, but I soldiered forth and took the bullet so you wouldn't have to. Well, that may not be the right way of saying that, it turned out to be very entertaining. Entertaining, what a novel concept. The reason to watch this show can be summed up in two simple words: James Woods.

Woods stars in Shark stars as Sebastian Stark, a ruthless, top level defense lawyer nick-named Shark for his ruthlessness. Following a win that goes horribly, horribly wrong, and a threatened audit on his tax return, he begrudgingly takes a job heading a special task force for high profile crimes at the DA's office. This is where my description of the pilot stops, if I gave you a full recap, why would you watch?

I will say that I was surprised at how much I enjoyed the show. Sure, I can be easily entertained at times, but this truly was entertaining. James Woods is perfectly cast as the "I am better than you" Stark, who hates being called Shark. He has a mixed group of up and coming lawyers working for him at the DA's office, and they run into a few snags as they feel each other out during the first case which does a good job of introducing us to the characters, although it will take a few episodes to get a handle on their names.

Shark is off to a good start. James Woods brings some star power and potentially fascinating lawyer to the fore. I like how he is set up as a flawed lead, not as purely a hotshot lawyer. Stark is a man who has a lot to lose, and something to prove, in spite of his upfront bravura.

Co-starring with Woods are Jeri Ryan (Boston Public, Star Trek: Voyager), Danielle Panabaker, Samuel Page, and Sarah Carter. The pilot episode was directed by Oscar nominee Spike Lee. On a side note, the show almost never got off the ground, it finally got the go ahead after they signed James Woods to the lead role.


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