31 August 2009 | bkoganbing
Friends And Colleagues And Adversaries
The mostly young cast of Raising The Bar and the performances they give will probably interest more young people into going into the law than any other show since Perry Mason. It's also a lot more realistic than Perry Mason.
The real test for this show and perhaps it's a bit unfair to compare it with Steven Bochco's last big NYPD Blue in terms of staying power, is to see if the premise carries it beyond the attractive cast. It certainly sustains Law And Order despite cast changes that have completely eliminated the original members now. That's what happened with NYPD Blue, but they did have Dennis Franz to anchor that show.
Bochco got his cast from a variety of sources from daytime and nighttime television, in some cases the players have experience in both. There are role models aplenty here.
My favorite is Mark-Paul Gosselaar who shed the Zack Morris image in NYPD Blue has now gone on to a different idealistic character in the person of Legal Aid lawyer Jerry Kellerman. There was an episode where his supervisor at the panel criticized him for being unable to watch an injustice being persecuted. Now that's someone I can always admire. Gosselaar as Kellerman is charming, mature, and idealistic and looking a whole lot better since he shed the long hair from the first season.
For those who like hard as nails prosecutors, Currie Graham also from NYPD Blue is supervising bureau chief assistant district attorney Nick Baldo. Hard to believe that Jack McCoy and Baldo work for the same office. They think they're doing society a service, but it's also a numbers game with them, to rack up a collection of scalps so to speak. Baldo shows why the Kellermans of the world are really needed.
And you have to love Mary Jane Kaczmarek as the tough female judge who's succeeded in what was a male dominated profession. Remember it was only 28 years ago a woman finally made it to the Supreme Court. She's had to be tough to survive. It's also twisted her somewhat, in many ways she's the most complex character on the show.
Shows that have as long a run as NYPD Blue are few and far between, but I'm hoping this one has a real long 7 to 8 year run. The scripts are literate and factual and the players make you care about their characters. What's not to like?