Jumping into “The Deep End”

Jumping into

Tiffany Lau

ABC’s new series brings fresh justice to lawyers

Fresh out of law school and ready to take on the legal world—or so the five law graduates believe when they are accepted into one of Los Angeles’ most prestigious law firms, Sterling. As first-years, they are treated as doormats by their bosses and colleagues and left to fend for themselves in the vicious world of lawyers. These five bright lawyers have yet to learn that that their class ranks, GPA’s and photographic memories have little to do with how they would survive the deep end of the ocean where sharks roam.
  ABC's new series, "The Deep End", follows the lives of new lawyers who are trying to adapt to the harsh world of law firms. Photo taken from TV Guide.
Within the first two minutes of the season-premiere episode, "Pilot", four of the five first-year lawyers are introduced just as quickly as their legal tongues and story lines move. It’s hard enough as it is to catch on their speedy talk, but with doses of legal jargon mixed into it, it’s even harder to follow, causing me to lose my attention. Besides the four new lawyers, three other law firm employees are also introduced, making a total of seven character profiles: each with his or her own subplot within the first five minutes of the episode and counting. These lawyers sure know what they’re talking about, but for law dummies like me, it’s hard to understand.
The mixture of trying to introduce the characters and jumping instantly into legal cases gave only a glimpse of each character’s personality. There is the soft-hearted Dylan (Matt Long), the smart and beautiful Beth (Leah Pipes), the playboy Liam (Ben Lawson), the vulnerable Addy (Tina Majorino) and the humorous Malcom (Mehcad Brooks), who appeared for less than a minute in the "Pilot". But even with little time to spare in this fast-paced episode, the actors effectively and convincingly portrayed their personas.
The job of a lawyer is now seen from a newbie’s perspective rather than that of the experienced like in age-old "Law & Order". These attractive, "successful" lawyers are finally thrown into the coldstruggling to please their clients and bosses as well as their love interests and their own ambitions. In the second episode, "Where There’s Smoke", the spotlight shines more on the developing relationships between lawyers, making the show more "Grey’s Anatomy"-like — a main case for each episode along with a few subplots dealing with minor cases and love lives of the lawyers. Not much of the complicated relationships have developed yet, but with accidental kisses, blushing faces and quick glances between colleagues, it is clear that there is much more to "The Deep End" than just case briefs.

The commercial of "The Deep End" made it out to be a "dramedy", with equal parts of comedy and drama. It appears to be more dramatic than comedic. But there is still enough relief to off-set the serious undertone of the legal premise.  

"The Deep End" looks like it’s heading towards to be another "Grey’s Anatomy", but in legal terms. Lawyers hae to deal with one another as their lives intertwine while trying to keep their head above the deep pool of cases. Still, "The Deep End" seems to be a series more for those who know the language of legalese and have a sharp attention.