When USA renewed “Fairly Legal” for a second season, they replaced showrunner Michael Sardo with Peter Ocko and decided to make some “creative changes,” which entailed focusing more on the core characters than the mediation of the week, making it more of a character study than a legal procedural.
In the Season 2 premiere, it’s hard to say whether those changes were readily apparent. On the one hand, there were some wonderful story arcs introduced that will play out all season – Reed & Reed being in trouble financially and bringing in a new partner, Justin deciding to challenge his current (awful) boss for the District Attorney’s job, Justin’s infidelity confession.
However, a large portion of the episode was still dominated by the case of the week, with Kate playing Nancy Drew instead of mediating. We’re not criticizing – it was an interesting case and any time Michael Hogan gets punched by John Aylward, that’s an A+ use of guest stars right there. But the “creative changes” weren’t as readily apparent as we thought they might be.
Plus, there was the introduction of new lawyer (and new Reed & Reed partner) Ben Grogan (Ryan Johnson). This character did not feel like a fun foil for Kate – in fact, he felt like a nuisance and the “chemistry” between them seemed incredibly forced. Are we alone in this?
The one character focus we did really like was the Kate-Lauren dynamic. From Lauren’s name changing signaling her moving on from being a widow, to their fight to save the firm starting, there is a gold mine of emotions and layers for the writers to explore with those characters and we look forward to seeing where it goes.
Thoughts & Tidbits
- Did Justin’s infidelity confession seem to come a little out of left field? It just … he just blurts it out? Now? After all this time? Hmm.
- Nice “Battlestar Galactica” reunion with Michael Hogan and Michael Trucco. It’s too bad they couldn’t shoe-horn in a scene between them, even if they just passed each other in the hallway.
- That was a real bummer about Kate’s boat. But now she might have to grow up a little and get a real place.
What did you think of the Season 2 return, “Fairly Legal” fans?