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- The Romantics. On DVD February 8th. (***3/10) »
Year: 2003, 2004
Genre: TV series, Lawyer, Drama
Country: United States
Starring: Simon Baker, Dabney Coleman, Raphael Sbarge, Alan Rosenberg, Wendy Moniz, Amanda Michalka
Guest star: Zac Efron
Guest director: Emilio Estevez
Creator: David Hollander
Run time: 17 hours, 9 minutes
DVD distributor: Paramount Home Entertainment
I find myself liking The Guardian less and less. I guess it no longer matters, because the show is over and the third season is the last one, on DVD February 8th from Paramount Home Entertainment. I liked the first season, because Simon Baker’s character was interesting – a lawyer busted on drug charges, struggling with inner demons, working for a heartless corporate law firm but forced to do community service with Legal Services where maybe he can find redemption…
That dichotomy was enough to make this show interesting, if not mesmerizing, for one full season. But the following two seasons seem to have nowhere else to go. Oh, there are subplots with foster daughters and stripper murders and Farrah Fawcett. But none of it has been compelling enough to make me interested in seeing the next episode, let alone the next season.
The third season opens with a couple of standard episodes – a kid has run away from a traveling carnival, and claims that the carnival director is abusing him. His mom works at the carnival and can’t go against her boss. The kid’s father doesn’t want him. So do you let him stay with the carnival and his mom and his abuser, or do you force the kid into foster care against his will? Oh, the moral dilemma!
Then in the next one, a coal company hires the corporate company Nick works for, so he scams people out of their right to sue on behalf of the coal company. But when he discovers the coal mining operation is making people sick, he enlists the help of the legal services office where he’s doing his community service to help the sick people. Oh, the moral dilemma!
The thing is, by now Simon Baker barely seems interested in ANY of these moral dilemmas. He just sort of coasts around, looking vaguely pained, and says what the script tells him to say. I’m no longer interested in this character, because this character doesn’t even seem to be interested in himself. Even when he and his father assault a man following a road rage altercation, and the incident threatens to put Nick’s probation in jeopardy, he doesn’t seem to register much fear. Or anger. Or irritation.
Two seasons ago, I thought Nick was subdued and understated because he was repressing his own tendencies and his own worst nature. Now I think he’s just a shell of a human being who acts like he cares only because the script tells him that he does. And if HE no longer cares, I no longer care. I’m out.