Law dramas are not new, dramas about newbies aren’t either, will that combo in ABC’s The Deep End be worth a red circle on your DVR..
In a city where wealth and power rule, everyone strives to make it to the top. For five eager and attractive law associates, being accepted into one of Los Angeles’ most prestigious law firms is the first step on their way up. But as they soon realize, the law offices of Sterling are far more cutthroat than they could have ever imagined and they must fight for themselves and their clients to stay afloat in these shark infested waters.
These young and impressionable associates are immediately thrown into cases and forced to deal with the emotional and ethical decisions that come with the job they’ve worked so hard for. Dylan (Matt Long, “Jack and Bobby”) is given an impossible pro bono custody case, Beth (Leah Pipes, “Sorority Row”) keeps mum when a 90-year-old man signs an agreement thinking that she’s his daughter, Liam (Ben Lawson, “Neighbours”) must get a client to sign with the firm under false pretenses, Addy (Tina Majorino, “Big Love”) finally gets some attention from her boss when she speaks her mind, and Malcolm (Mehcad Brooks, “True Blood”) gets off on the wrong foot when he is hired outside of the firm’s traditional process.
While these five ambitious associates struggle to adjust their appetites and ideals to the fast-paced demands of their jobs, they’re faced with the warring partners at Sterling who hold the keys to their future, and a reluctant mentor, Rowdy (Norbert Leo Butz), who tries to guide them and the firm through the trenches. For Dylan, saving face with one partner in particular is much more difficult after he falls for the firm’s paralegal — unbeknownst to him, she’s already in bed with firm partner Cliff Huddle (Billy Zane, “Titanic”), who is married to fellow partner Susan Oppenheim (Nicole Ari Parker), and fighting for the soul of the firm with its namesake, Hart Sterling (Clancy Brown, “Carnivale”).
“The Deep End” stars Matt Long as “Dylan Hewitt,” Billy Zane as “Cliff Huddle,” Clancy Brown as “Hart Sterling,” Norbert Leo Butz as “Rowdy Kaiser,” Leah Pipes as “Beth Branford,” Tina Majorino as “Addy Fisher,” Ben Lawson as “Liam Priory,” Nicole Ari Parker as “Susan Oppenheim” and Mehcad Brooks as “Malcolm Bennet.”
There is no denying that the cast of this legal dramedy is nothing short of awesome. Lead by Matt Long, you is in one of my favorite dramas ever, WB’s short-lived Jack & Bobby, the cast features some veterans like the Clancy Brown (Lost), Billy Zane, and Nicole Ari Parker. Relative newcomers are also aplenty in Mehcad Brooks (Eggs in True Blood), the fun Tina Majorino (Big Love), and Rachelle Lefevre (Twilght, in a recurring role).
The cast, however, is used in the worst way possible, a convoluted mess, trying to be a drama, while being a fun comedy. The pilot packs so much story in forty minutes you don’t know where to look whether it is Dylan’s case, Liam’s affairs, or the partners arguing about nothing.
I think there is a reason this is the third incarnation of the show, first it featured Morrena Baccarin and Gail O’Grady, then Billy Zane was added, people were subtracted, and finally after a third re-shoot we get The Deep End. It’s just to bad it comes in a packed to the brim bag of clichés, and stereotypes that are just not worth an hour on the super busy Thursday night.
The Deep End airs tonight on ABC before Grey’s Anatomy at 8/7c.