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  • "THE GUARDIAN," in my opinion, is a pure CBS classic! I haven't seen every episode, but I still enjoyed it. However, I think it was always touching when a mishap occurred. I always felt deeply moved. It's hard to say which episode was my favorite. It would probably have to be the pilot. Despite the fact that it was a short-lived series, it would have been nice if all the main characters had stayed with the show throughout its entire run. It seems that no one stays with a show throughout its entire run. Everyone always gave a good performance, the production design was spectacular, the costumes were well-designed, and the writing was always very strong. In conclusion, I hope they bring it back on the air for fans of the show to see.
  • This series has potential as a legal drama. The twist is that the main character has been busted for drug use and been sentenced to community service with children, making him look at things from a whole new light. The performances are good, and I like the premise. I might recommend this one if you like Simon Baker and Dabney Coleman.
  • masa-ozmec29 August 2004
    this show is brilliant. it is so nice to watch something like that on TV. simon baker is a very good actor. it is too bad that he wasn't nominated for emmy at least once. he would really earn that. i haven't seen all seasons yet. today i've seen the first episode of the third season(is that the last season as well?). and the performance of all characters is just amazing. it is too bad, that they don't filming anymore. because the show was actually realistic. and it was nice too watch it every Sunday in the evening. i really thought that they would making it at least few years more. it is really bad and sad because they ended. our TV needs more things like this. that is why i hope that they will make something like that in the near future. the show is just... brilliant
  • The Guardian is hands down the best drama currently on television. It's amazing to me how Simon Baker has never won an Emmy for his portrayal of Nick Fallin - the ex cocaine addict who's forced to put in 1600 hours of community service as a child advocate for the legal aid services center in Pittsburgh. This is in addition to being a principal partner in his father's corporate law firm. Watching Nick run from the courtroom to the board room (and occasionally the bedroom) and back again with nary a moment to gather his thoughts can leave the viewer exhausted by the end of the show but this is also part of its appeal. We can feel Nick's stress and associate it with our own harried lives.

    None of the central characters on this show are without their flaws - Nick is often aloof and emotionless - caring more about corporate mergers than whether or not he is best serving the interests of those he defends during his community service. He rarely gives his downtrodden, legal aid clients a second thought once he has finished representing them. His father, brilliantly played by the veteran character actor Dabney Coleman can also be abrasive, manipulative, callous and, as the second season finale graphically showed also violent and dangerously obsessed with a twelve year old girl he took in as a foster child. The interaction (or lack thereof) between the two, neither whom is able to really show their true feelings towards one another is often painful to watch.

    The rest of the cast with the exception of Wendy Muniz are all expertly cast. Charles Malik Whitfield as James Mooney, the ex gang member who has escaped the ghetto to become a lawyer for the legal aid group is both menacing and heroic at the same time. One powerfull episode has him almost beating to death a young black man who he has been told caused the death of his troubled nephew. He later discovers that this person was innocent and must deal with how to come to terms with almost killing and disfiguring an innocent man. Raphael Sbarge as Jake Straka, another success driven lawyer at Nick's firm, makes us think of all the lawyers we have known who can barely give us the time of day unless the reward is large enough. Alan Rosenberg who plays Alvin Masterson, the director of the clinic, tries to keep the chaos controllable even while fighting his own demons which include an unhealthy weakness for some of his former female clients. Only Wendy Muniz fails to convince in her role as Lulu Archer, another one of the legal aid lawyers. The series' writers seem unable to decide whether she should be a foil to Nick or just another lovesick conquest. Their romantic scenes together lack passion or chemistry and often seem contrived.

    All in all though this is a thoughtful, powerful, and at times, emotionally brutal show. Enjoy it while you can - it's sure to be short lived.
  • The pace of each episode is unusual giving lots of pregnant pauses after each clause of very well written and realistic dialogue. The characters are very flawed and real and I really enjoy the juggling of the legal aid clinic and big corperate law. They have 2 stories in one show that reflect sometimes on each other giving us more occasions to think about the world that the show is based on. The lack of phyisical contact with Nik and clients really increased the tension. You know he wants to hug those kids. Also Dabney Coleman gives a stellar performance of your chain smoking aging corperate lawyer who has many regrets in his life but also really enjoys his job. I could go on and on but Kudos to the producers of this show and keep up the good work.
  • I really enjoy this series, even in reruns, I just don't understand why it gets so little publicity in the regular season. The acting is so good, Simon Baker and Dabney Coleman...make a statement just by the raising of an eyebrow or a smile. Nick Fallin as played by Baker really is a kpuzzlement!! But as you watch the story develop, even if you think Fallin is using poor judgement, you end up hoping he succeeds to make things right for himself or his client! Such a challanging hour!! Thanks so much, looking forward to the fall season
  • i don't like most TV drama, but i like this show. it has an edge, has some dark characters, and tackles some heavy issues in an intelligent manner. i especially like how Nick keeps getting into trouble, but is still such a lovable character. Think it'll last for a while.
  • 'The Gaurdian' is a well put show. An interesting ring makes the show flow like a fine movie. Nick Fallen (Simon Baker) has been caught with coke and has been sentenced to 1,600 hours of community service. Using his lawyer abilities, Nick must help at the Pittsburg Legal services. Juggling a firm postion, clinets, and orphaned, beaten wives and children. Nick finds that the world he sees may not be real, like the 'Matrix'. Nick sees the more simple things in life, and soon puts some nice pick up lines to the test against the new girl, Lulu. She is a new legal service lawyer at Pittsburg Legal Services and Nick has found her, lets say, attractive. Nick goes to great lengths, from a normal, layed back rich kid. To a real world hard working love sick man. He opens up his buttoned up emotins sometimes, even once refered to as Teflon Man. Nothing touches him. But Love. He asks Lulu one day, "My mom said one thing I will always do is treat women better then my dad did." "Was she right?" (Lulu). "I don't know, want to find out?". Nick scrapes and shovels dirty work from murders, to felon boyfriends and lawyers. How far can a man be pushed to the edge? The Gaurdain is some show is expect and hope to see for a long time.
  • Just saw the 2/10 episode about Down's Syndrome. This was the most sensitively written, acted and directed hour of television I have seen in many years. I believe the Academy should recognize the wonderful creative work of this episode when it comes time for Emmy nominations. The program raised difficult issues and didn't offer easy, pat solutions.

    BRAVO! to the cast and director and writers for a job well done.
  • I know I watched this when it was on air but somehow watching it streaming as a sort of marathon makes it more powerful. Others have commented and disagreed on the acting also speculated why the show didn't last. I wanted to add my couple of cents. Simon Baker basically does play the same role in the Mentalist, (savior) but smiles and wins more hence the show not being canceled. In the Guardian, the hero does not always win, the ending is not always happy and the characters are always flawed. This might be too much for network TV. The theme song and introduction are obnoxious when compared with cable shows such as Dexter, Oz. Lulu's character is not written with as much depth as the others so its hard to fault the acting. I think the viewer felt a bit manipulated by the drawn out back and forth with Nick. Its always hard for writers to get over the hump of what to do with all that sexual tension. Just look at what happened to House. Dabney Coleman is brilliant in his intensity. This show has many shades of gray and is very much worth watching.
  • I must admit I rarely tune in to CBS for their dramas... or anything for that matter... but since CBS is the only station able to broadcast full signal in NYC right now...

    Simon Baker has got "it". I'm not sure what that is... but I popped on the TV and he immediately grabbed me. I recognized him from "L.A. Confidential" (Christmas eve pot bust), and was sucked in by his performance. He plays a rich kid lawyer/son of a lawyer recently busted for coke. Sentenced to community service at children services, he enters a world he's never seen... nor wants to see. All this while trying to play corporate hard-ball at his father's firm (and once in a while peeing in a cup for the probation officers). Good writing, strong performances by Baker and Coleman make for a promising show.

    I am only afraid that it will get old quick... a new kid in trouble every week, a new corporation in the middle of a merger... but thats up to the writers... so far, so good.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I happened upon the Guardian and watched all three seasons over the past couple of weeks. I loved Simon Baker's character, Nick. He was the most honest of the bunch and my favorite, with Alan Rosenburg (Alvin) a close second. Nick had faults and displayed behavior consistent with issues realistic based on his upbringing. While he was continuously the one everyone else used as the convenient fall-guy, he was the one who developed most in spite of the people who influenced him. I found him to be the most honest - accepting fault when it was his and honoring the consequences and those belonging to others as well. I enjoyed that the show dealt with real life issues and created an awareness around subject matter relatable to all. Now, the character I enjoyed the least.... Lulu. At times, I really thought she was "lulu." She was way too inconsistent and was always finger pointing, neglecting to see any of her own issues - of which she had many. I just felt that she seized every opportunity to beat the hell out of Nick. I am so tired of seeing her type cast throughout TV series - condescending, negative, bitter, and mean. Every time she spoke it was with a scowl on her face, like her upper lip was stinking. While I'm all for women who are strong and smart and on top of their careers, I''m over the cold suited props who every time they open their mouths, it's to hurt someone. She punished and punished and punished. I almost wish there was another season and Hollander let Nick move on... What would that look like? She used everything against him and never considered him. Yes, he was wrong to sleep with that trashy chic in the office, and he knew that. At least he told her himself and took his punishment like a man. But it just went on and on with her. Alvin made great point that she was 50% of the relationship... but that didn't provoke any thought for her. Her demeanor was fake, cold... She didn't add any value to the other characters. I'm usually a sucker for a love story, but near the end, I wanted him to run as far as he could from her. She was toxic. Then, the pregnancy, proposal, and baby makes three (well, maybe one, because she, of course, was the only one that mattered). I couldn't understand why she worked in a humanitarian capacity, because her character was anything but... I was outdone! With all the miss-nose-up-in-the-air, she couldn't smell her own mess! She was messy, and tactless. She didn't want a man, she wanted a little boy and then was mad when that's what showed up. If the intent was to dislike her character... then it was a successful role. ARGH!!

    The rest of the cast, played their roles well. Jake needed a good ole a-- whooping and Burton - no award recommendation for father of the year - but - he was consistent.

    I loved the advocacy intention for "The Guardian." I was glad that Nick followed his heart in the end. I really wanted to see him become more self-accepting and develop further absent of the abusers around him, but Season 3... THE END!
  • I have written here about this short-lived show in the past. Simon Baker is a perfect fit as the troubled son of a famous lawyer, played by Dabney Coleman of MARY HARTMAN fame. Because of some drug transgressions, the son, also a lawyer,must put in time at a child advocacy law firm. He also continues to work for his old man, and the two often do not see eye to eye. As time goes on in this show, things change: the father is up for a judgeship and the son starts his own law firm. Also, the son is hot for a lawyer at his father's firm, but alas, she loves another. The cases are usually intriguing, but the show is really about the father and son, and both actors pull off this thorny relationship with aplomb.There is an occasional soap opera aspect to the show, but it is kept to a minimum. Well worth watching, if a little depressing, as the son never seems to be able to stay out of trouble. It is not a lighthearted show and humor is basically nonexistent. Maybe that's why the show did not last longer than it did.
  • I am left with much sadness after watching the entire series. Simon Baker has such a great smile, unfortunately I didn't get to see much of it here. Nick's casual drug use results in slow death for his high-profile law career as community service hours make it impossible to keep up. No human could keep up that pace. Although he is often called "a great lawyer" you almost never see any positive outcomes from his work at his father's firm. He is sullen, moody, non- communicative. Almost without exception his interactions are awkward. You just want to grab him and shake him up. Eventually he gets rejected by everyone. Is it his fault? In this way he is much like the rejected, abused, damaged children whom he represents in the courtroom.

    Nick's interactions with women were often dreadful. I had such hopes for Lulu but she was never able to penetrate his walls. I also liked Nick's policewoman lover, but that promising storyline went nowhere. His final office dalliance did nothing but harm for all involved.

    In the end, about the only positive thing about Nick was that he was sometimes able to help his young clients. Ultimately a very depressing series. Fortunately the Mentalist gave Simon's personality an opportunity to flash that smile and exhibit some warmth.
  • anucool4624 March 2017
    What a great show!! Simon Baker has done an amazing job in this! I'd never get bored of watching this series! It's got everything - drama, romance, angst and much more, but the best thing about this series is the character - Nick Fallin and the superb portrayal by Simon Baker. I enjoyed watching his character grow from Season 1 - 3. Miss this series, it had a great story line. One of Simon's best performances till date :)
  • I just discovered this program on Amazon Prime. Don't know how I missed the original. One of the best series I have watched in years. The conflicts, the human aspects and the characters touch us all. Great writing - well done by all!

    My only complaint was the "Lulu" character. I found her to be a narcissistic, insensitive, offensive and repulsive human being. Other viewers seem to like her character, but she did irritate me.

    I would highly recommend this program. Enjoy!
  • jerryjeff1 January 2014
    One of the best TV series I have ever seen. Best watched in binge mode for full appreciation of the subtle progression and change of the characters. Beautifully acted and written - like a fantastic novel you cannot put down. Really compelling because of the hugely varied types of people and characters that appear. For every beauty there is a leather-faced craggy guy, for every slick lawyer, there is a schlubby counterpart - the endless variety in the casting was fascinating, and they all threw each other into relief in such a cool way. Glad that in spite of being cancelled, it was beautifully wrapped up. Thanks, Mr. Hollander, for this great series.
  • Simon Baker is Nick Fallin, bull-headed & over-the-top corporate lawyer, who finds a drug conviction sentence of community service to be just another annoying obstacle in his charge toward the top. He violates the terms of probation in almost every episode. Dabney Coleman is his icy, loveless father.

    At the risk of TV heresy, The Guardian & The Sopranos share one primary element: endless tension among the regulars. Nick turns his eyes & back whenever pop gets serious.

    He's even more contemptuous of his boss @legal services (a "12-step control freak") & an attractive colleague there (Wendy Moniz), with whom he insists he "wanted to spend time": "I thought I made that clear." "You did." Maybe because of his own dreary & aseptic upbringing & because he's so impersonal elsewhere, Nick has become an outstanding children's advocate, encouraging children & their however-abusive or -oblivious parents to stay together, rather than allowing them to get lost in the equally impersonal & govt.-funded maze that is social services.

    The Guardian began its 2d season 9/24/02: Nick's left dad's old firm after dad left for judgeship & has got in a hurricane of trouble with drugs, a dead stripper, & his late probation officer. Incredibly, he bores thru these obstacles like a termite thru balsa wood.
  • Saw two episodes today, first time I've ever seen this series (March 2019). The guy is perpetually uncomfortable in every interaction, with any character. He just wants to get out of there, saying as little as possible - averages maybe 3 words per sentence. 9 out of 10 scenes end with him finally escaping the situation of having to put up with someone trying to talk to him about something... Sort of an odd m.o. for a title character. I can definitely relate to the guy, but a tv series based on me would be a horrible idea.
  • I have started watching this for the first time on the Heroes channel and it is really good. Pretty serious and dark but each episode engaging from start to finish.
  • wbmccreac22 December 2018
    I hated Lulu. I feel she should have suffered more consequences than she did. She got off too easy for the way she treated Nick,. Don't care for the story line on Jake or Shannon definitely could have been handled better.
  • The Guardian derives lots of its characters and plotting from the legal drama boiler plate parts bin: Young lawyers with unresolved childhood issues, young lawyers with substance abuse problems, old lawyers who personify every single negative legal and gender stereotypes, etc, etc, etc.

    But the high quality of the acting (particulary Dabney coleman) more than compensates for the lack of originalty. Interesingly, the lead character does not seem to posess a single likeable quality: he (still) has a trobled realationship with has father, can't relate to women, situational legal ethics are usually wrong, snobby to the max.

    But we should salute the guardian's writers for this brave departure from convention, because, after all, we all know lawyers like nick fallin.

    New character of Farah Fawcett and recurring character of Bruce Weitz further burnish this series' quality. But it was already high to begin with and you can tell the big names (with the exception of simon baker) are barely breaking a sweat.
  • rajshori11 December 2018
    Very realistic and pragmatic for a lawyer who fights for children after he has abused drugs
  • This series is about people who can't seem to get in touch with their feelings. I keep trying to find some redeeming qualities in these characters but they all keep living down to my expectations. It's obvious that the writers intend this to be a one-dimensional, emotionless and bland storyline but I can't imagine why. It's almost as if they are intentionally trying to chase viewers away. If Nick, or his father, or Lulu......or any of the others could just manage an "I love you" or "you're a jerk" it may add a touch of reality but if you were ever surrounded by this many dead characters you would likely be in a mortuary.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Fans of 'Judging Amy' or 'Family Law' (pre-Tony Danza) would probably have enjoyed this television series which was pretty much Simon Baker's claim to fame (at least as far as being a recognized actor in America) as he was cast as the lead, Nick Fallin. The basic premise was that Fallin, as punishment for drug use, is sentenced to fulfill a term of community service. Already skilled as a lawyer, he is sent to split his time between being a high-time lawyer and working as a part-time "Gaurdian" (basically, legal defense for minors) at a Legal Aid firm. Fallin seems more determined not to put too much heart into this work, despite the tragic cases that pass through the system, but, as most characters in these types of situations do, he can't help but sometimes become disheartened with the difficulties of the system or his clients. I didn't really like Baker's performance. I couldn't tell if his lack of emotional (I don't think I ever saw him smile more than once or twice during the three years of the series) was intentional, or just Baker's limited acting abilities.

    But, flanked by the talents of Dabney Coleman who later takes on a full-time role as Fallin's father, and Alan Rosenberg, who plays the more idealistic member of the firm, Alvin Masterson, among other interesting characters in the supporting cast, provide a nice counterpart to Baker's sometimes deadpan manner. CBS seemed to have made some effort somewhere from the mid 90s to early 2000 to bring in shows about people who worked in some form of social service. 'L.A. Doctors' was about doctors dealing with the bureaucracies of the health care system (among other things). 'Family Law' primarily criticized the treatment of minors in the system (and, sometimes domestic violence, among many many other topics). 'Judging Amy' is one of the most successful of these shows in which nearly every character works in some different form of public service, so there are many opportunities there to analyze things. But, it seems, that few of these shows (save Judging Amy, which may be the last of its kind on CBS) manage to stay long on this network, often sacked for more of the same criminal investigation shows following the immense (but now waning?) popularity of CSI.
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