Television

The Whole Truth About, Well, The Whole Truth

Another year, another legal pilot. But this year, ABC bet the farm on a new series called The Whole Truth, the only legal drama in its fall lineup. With Jerry Bruckheimer as its producer, the show promises to offer a novel twist on the typical courtroom drama.

How? “No one ever knows what really happened until the very last scene, when we learn… The Whole Truth.

The show has received mixed reviews from the critics, but maybe you’ll end up liking it. It premiered last night, and featured Maura Tierney as Kathryn Peale, Senior Trial Assistant District Attorney in New York, and Rob Morrow as Jimmy Brogan, a senior partner at one of Manhattan’s up-and-coming criminal defense firms.

Each week, we’ll get to witness a new criminal law case from the perspectives of both the prosecution and the defense. And each week, the same exact prosecutors will be pitted against the same exact defense attorneys. But don’t worry, the entire cast hails from Ivy League law schools, for all of you prestige whores. Fourth-tier law grads can’t even get fictional jobs on television.

If you’re still interested in learning more about The Whole Truth, let’s do the hokey-pokey and turn the case for or against this show around, after the jump.

If you took the time to watch the show last night, you’d know that a judge actually said that “hokey-pokey” line in open court. I can’t even come up with something so contrived. So, what did I really think about this show? To quote Morrow’s character, I thought that it was a steaming pile of “bull caca.”

The show capitalizes on Tierney’s post-chemotherapy haircut to help portray her character as a hard-as-nails, man-hating workaholic. She blows off steam at the shooting range after work. She “loves the law, it’s the only thing she’s good at… just ask anyone who’s unfortunate enough to be involved in [her] personal life.” Unlike the advice we’ve received from the Legal Tease, this character’s law degree does make her ass look fat.

On the flip side of the coin, Morrow’s character is depicted as a red-sneaker-wearing, wannabe fratboy whose objections in court sound like they’re being made in front of a fellow bro or dude, as opposed to a trial judge. The best part of the entire episode was when Morrow’s character was benchslapped for wearing fugly shoes to court. I guess even male lawyers have shoe issues these days.

All in all, the irony of the show is that the audience is forced to endure an entire episode in order to be let in on what “the whole truth” is, after the verdict has already been reached. Instead of having to watch 50 minutes of this hot mess for about ten seconds of payoff at the very end, I’d rather DVR Top Chef: Just Desserts. Maybe learning how to bake delicious cupcakes will get me a raise around here. ABC should have taken a lesson from Lucy v. Zehmer, because they totally lost the farm with The Whole Truth.

Gimmicky legal drama’s two sides don’t add up to ‘Whole Truth’ [Boston Herald]
Television review: ‘The Whole Truth’ [Los Angeles Times]
The Whole Truth [ABC]

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