If you’re looking for something to do in an hour and a half, why not check out the new legal thriller on FX, Damages?
This new television series stars Glenn Close, whom we have worshiped ever since Fatal Attraction. We love a strong woman, who knows exactly what she wants — and will stop at nothing to get it.
The litigatrix role that Glenn Close plays in Damages has some similarities to Alex Forrest in Fatal Attraction. Here’s the show’s synopsis:
DAMAGES is a legal thriller set in the world of New York City high-stakes litigation. The series, which provides a view into the true nature of power and success, follows the turbulent lives of Patty Hewes (Glenn Close) the nation’s most revered and reviled high-stakes litigator and her bright, ambitious protégé Ellen Parsons (Rose Byrne) as they become embroiled in a class action lawsuit targeting the allegedly corrupt Arthur Frobisher (Ted Danson), one of the country’s wealthiest CEOs.
As Patty battles with Frobisher and his attorney Ray Fiske (Željko Ivanek), Ellen Parsons will be front and center, witnessing just what it takes to win at all costs, as it quickly becomes clear that lives, as well as fortunes, may be at stake.
Tonight’s episode is the third installment of the series. Some thoughts on the first two episodes, from two readers and from us, appear after the jump.
The show has been well-reviewed so far, but this ATL reader is not a fan:
Have you seen Damages, the new FX series starring Glenn Close as a top plaintiffs’ lawyer? We were laughing at the perks bestowed upon an associate of one week: a VIP shopping spree at Barney’s, and a posh Manhattan apartment.
So I guess that’s what it’s like to work at a big-time plaintiff’s firm — new wardrobe, new digs, dead fiancée in bathtub….
But a second correspondent is more enthusiastic:
Did you see any of Damages? For the most part, I quit watching FX when I quit watching X-Files reruns, but I was surprised at the production values of the show. Good story so far, Glenn Close was great, and sufficiently lawyerly without being formulaic.
After the second episode, this reader added:
The second episode was slower than the first, but at least it’s still got good story. The production values are much nicer than I expected from FX, and the non-Close non-Danson actors do a decent job at not ruining it. Though Danson’s “southern” lawyer is a little annoying to me — why not hire a real southerner?
But if a fake accent works for “Larry the Cable Guy,” why not this guy?
What do we think? We’re still forming our opinion, but so far, we’re closer to reader #1 than reader #2 (although we agree completely with reader #2 re: Željko Ivanek
of ER fame being annoying as a southerner).
Damages is a legal thriller, with the emphasis on “thriller” over “legal.” The show is all about plot, the plot implausibilities abound, and the legal milieu is given short shrift. In this sense, the show is more like “The Firm” than, say, “L.A. Law” (or even “Ally McBeal”).
In addition to the items highlighted by reader #1, here are additional dubious things we noticed:
1. The hiring partner of a rival firm that ultimately loses Ellen Parsons to Patty Hewes tells her: “We’d like to bring you on as a junior associate with a five-year guarantee.” A five year guarantee — WTF?
2. Ellen Parsons, upon being told of her $150,000 starting salary at this firm, blurts out, “Holy Shit!” We’d think that a top recruit would be more knowledgeable (or less uncouth) than that.
3. After losing Ellen Parsons to Patty Hewes, the hiring partner trails Parsons and her fiancee to a bar — a crowded, noisy, young people’s bar — to “warn” Ellen about Patty. Now we don’t know how things work on the plaintiffs’ side of the bar — we’re more familiar with large, defense-oriented firms (i.e., Biglaw) — but this struck us as ridiculous. Couldn’t he have just called her, or shot her an email?
Okay, maybe we’re nit-picking. And we’re actually optimistic about episode three. Check out this preview clip.
Yes, that’s right. It’s all about a discovery dispute! Patty Hewes complains about not getting the document discovery she’s entitled to; defense counsel boasts that he’s produced over 850,000 documents thus far; and Hewes says she wants MORE DOCUMENTS. The judge expresses annoyance at both parties and their squabbling.
NOW we’re talking realism…
Damages [official website]