Hate your lawyer? You may love “Facing Kate.”
USA latest dramedy stars Sarah Shahi as Kate Reed, a disgruntled lawyer who quits and becomes a mediator — sort of the anti-lawyer.
“A mediator can be a lawyer who’s resigned from the bar, which is what Kate’s done,” creator Michael Sardo tells the TCA members during the NBC networks press tour on Friday (July 30). “In a regular law show, you have all this artifice around and someone speaking for you or instead of you, whereas we just get right to the heart of it and do our little anti-law law show. Two people in a room in conflict, send in Kate, and things happen.”
Kate is actually drawn to helping people, to the point of disregarding her own safety or perhaps regular social boundaries. This was a quality that the producers were looking for in their lead. Sardo gives an example of a store conflict between two men who pull out a gun and a bat, respectively. Kate is the person who moves towards that danger because there’s a need for her.
“The reason we cast Sarah in addition to her loveliness is her acting ability,” says Sardo. “We looked at 100 women, and in the scene during that audition when the person pulled out a gun — there was not gun, it was just someone saying give me the money — 100 people backed up. Sarah was the only one who moved toward it. You can’t solve conflicts from a distance.”
Although the show is pro-mediator, Sardo insists that the show isn’t about hating attorneys, but more about seeing situations differently.
“Kate rebels against the ‘one size fits all’ mentality of the law,” he says. “Through Kate and the lawyers on the show, we see the world through different angles through a prism.”
Shahi, however, acknowledges that there’s some anger or frustration directed toward lawyers in life.
“I think in that profession so much of it is where time is money,” she says. “It’s not a heartfelt profession, so if you’re sitting across the room from someone who’s charging you however much they’re charging per hour, you’re not certain if they’re doing what’s best for them and their pockets or what’s best for you.”
That said, Shahi is not anti-lawyer at all.
“I love my lawyer, and hate everybody else’s,” she says. “I think he’s a good lawyer, other people may not think he’s a great lawyer, but he’s good for me.”
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