Our pick for 12th best new show of the year is “Raising the Bar“, which is the only courtroom drama in the mix (and also the only one to feature Zack Morris).
The show: “Raising the Bar”
Synopsis: Facing off in court by day and hitting the town for cosmos at night, a group of assistant district attorneys and public defenders make strange bedfellows and brosephs in “Raising the Bar.”
Debuted: September 1, 2008
Our take: There’s something a little hard to swallow about this show’s premise at its most fundamental level. I just can’t quite buy the way everyone is more or less friends or at least really personally involved with each other. If they were all in one office it would still be a stretch, but they’re not, so it gets a bit silly. That said, Mark-Paul Gosselaar is a surprisingly charismatic lead (aside from his hair), and the court room scenes are mostly handled well enough. Court room dramas are not a particular interest of mine, but this has kept me engaged by taking a more reasonable and procedural approach rather than the melodramatic. In fact, I’ll go beyond that to say I’ve been particularly impressed with all of the guest actors playing witnesses. It says something about the quality of a production when they take such care in casting even the smallest roles.
What it would need to do to keep me watching: The show makes it hard to root for the DAs much, which undermines some of the drama. The romantic interest of the early episodes also left me a little cold. If they could balance these issues out, I might give it another chance, but like I said, I’m not a big fan of court room dramas to begin with.